“We’re hopeful of receiving the gas from the Bibiyana gas field starting from the first week of April,” Petrobangla Chairman Nazmul Ahsan told on Tuesday.
In fact 70 mmcf per day is expected to come on board as soon as March 19. That would be augmented by yet another 30 mmcf from the first week of next month.
US oil giant Chevron has been operating the Bibiyana gas field along with two other gas fields—Jalalabad and Moulvi Bazar in Sylhet region.
The participants and energy experts noted that the extra production by Chevron will play a big role in reducing dependency on import gas LNG (liquefied natural gas), at a time when it is becoming prohibitively expensive in the International spot market.
The country could save between Tk 1,200-1,500 crore per month in import bills, said the Petrobangla chairman.
According to sources at Petrobangla and Chevron, the US company was producing around 1180 mmcf gas per day until last year.
But at one stage, the production started dropping and the output of Chevron fields came down to nearly 1100 mmcfd that came as a big blow to the growing demand in the energy sector.
Sources said immediately the Chevron took up measures for “tubing change out” at two wells in Bibiyana to augment production.
Work at one well will be completed on March 19, which will enhance the production by 70 mmcfd, while the work at the second one will be completed in early April, adding another 30 mmcfd gas to the grid, said a source.
Contacted, Communications Manager of Chevron Bangladesh Shaikh Jahidur Rahman forwarded a statement of the company.
It said Chevron Bangladesh continues to work in partnership with the government of Bangladesh and Petrobangla to deliver the safe, reliable supply of affordable natural gas which is essential to help meet the country’s growing energy demand.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to support the government in maintaining uninterrupted gas supply the team is always evaluating various opportunities,” it said.
Petrobangla daily production report reveals the Chevron gas field is now producing 1189 mmcfd gas while the country’s total gas production is 2996 mmcfd against the demand for 4000 mmcfd.
After completion of the works at two wells, the gas production of Chevron will go up to 1300 mmcfd, said the source.
Energy experts have been suggesting the government to take measures like tubing change out to enhance gas production from the existing fields.
But many officials at the Petrobangla are not found to be interested in such work, said an industry insider.