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New gas field exploration work continues in Sylhet

Beanibazar gas field, Sylhet

Amid criticism that the government has not done enough to explore new gas sources in recent years, Petrobangla has started exploration work at Beanibazar, Baralekha and Kanaighat upazilas under Sylhet Gas Field Ltd, officials say.

Managing Director of Sylhet Gas Field Mizanur Rahman on Thursday said land has been acquired through local administration to dig new wells, hoping to explore new gas sources.

He said currently a seismic survey was going on as part of the exploration work in the area.

“We will be able to understand if we have gas reserves in the new areas after some technical tests are done. If everything goes well, we will finally go for installing gas production plants,” he told UNB.

He said China petroleum corporation’s EGP International has been contracted to conduct the exploration work across 191 square kilometres of area in three upazilas. It has already completed 24 per cent of the project and by December 2023, it will finish the job.

Petrobangla officials in Dhaka said the initiative to dig new wells is part of the government’s plan to drill a total of 46 exploration, development and work-over wells during the period 2022-2025 to increase production of natural gas from local sources against the backdrop of the nagging gas crisis.

Petrobangla statistics show that the country currently produces about 2,648 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) against a demand for over 4000 mmcfd.

Different trade bodies say that their production is suffering because of a lack of gas supply to their factories across the country.

In another development, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) has resumed the excavation of an abandoned well (Well No. 1) of Beanibazar Gas Field.

The officials involved in the project said they were hoping to get 7 million cubic feet of gas per day from this well. The plant has two wells. The production of gas began at Well No. 1 in 1999, but it was shut in 2014. Production resumed from that well again at the beginning of 2016 and stopped at the end of that year.

Managing Director Mizanur Rahman said that three more wells were being dug under Sylhet Gas Fields.

He said a significant amount of gas would be added to the national grid by 2023 if everything goes well.

Daily gas production from Sylhet Gas Fields Limited is expected to increase by 164 million cubic feet by 2025 after the implementation of all projects, he said.

The officials say the production and supply from local gas fields have been declining since 2015 and will continue to decline in the future unless new exploration work is not done.