Energy experts at a seminar on “Prospects of Bhola Gas Field and Energy Security” opined that the government should move steadily for exploration of oil and gas, specially in the southern coastal belt of the country.
“We should not say we are flouting on gas or we are running out of gas. Rather, we should say we have huge potentials in our new turf of Bhola and its adjoining areas in the southern region”, said eminent energy expert Prof Badrul Imam while making a keynote presentation at the seminar, organised by Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB), at Dhaka Club in the city.
He noted that two gas fields in Bhola (Shahbazpur and Bhola North) have a cumulative recoverable reserve of 1.2 to 1.5 trillion cubic feet gas.
Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, who also spoke at the function as chief guest, said the government has been pursuing an energy policy where it looks for diversified energy-mix.
“We’re importing LNG to meet the growing demand of energy, side by side our gas exploration works”, he said adding that the government is not only waiting for the exploration works.
With FERB chairman Arun Karmaker in the chair, the seminar was also addressed by chairman of Geology Department at Dhaka University Kazi Matin Uddin Ahmed, Russian oil giant Gazprom International`s managing director Surgey Tumanov, former managing director of Bapex Amzad Hossain and Prof Maksud Kamal.
Gazprom head of exploration Yuriy Aleksakhiv also made a presentation on its exploration experience in Bhola gas field as the company was involved with Bapex in the gas field drilling works.
Dr. Tawfiq Elahi Chowdhury said the government is trying to bring the gas from Bhola field to the mainland of the country and also utilise the gas for power generation and industrial purpose.
He said the government has also planned to be connected with the gas pipeline planned to be coming from West Bengal, India to go to its northern region.
He admitted that Bangladesh`s offshore gas exploration move was not successful following the withdrawal of investment by international oil companies in the pretext of oil price fall in the global market.
In his keynote presentation, Prof Badrul Imam said gas prospect in Bangladesh has been underplayed while the slogan of gas resource depletion is overly played.
He observed Bangladesh remains one of the least explored place in the world compared with other countries.
“Recent gas discoveries in Bhola have placed the island and its surrounding area as a potential major natural gas hotspot in the making”, he added.
He said the government should carry out exploration below the depth of 4000 to 5000 meter of the underground to find the overpressure gas.
Gazprom managing director Surgey Tumanov said his organisation has good exploration experience as it was involved in Bhola exploration works and also elsewhere in the country.
Describing his experience as former project director of Bapex for Bhola Gas Field Amzad Hossain said people in many islands in Bhola like Char Kazal, Char Jabber are lifting surface gas through tube-wells while lifting drinking water.
“So, the government should carry out thorough exploration works in Bhola area”, he said.
Dhaka University Geology Department Chairman Kazi Matin Uddin Ahmed said his department wants to work under academia-business body collaboration like that happens in different countries.
“We are ready to extend our support in petroleum exploration activities in the country”, he said.