The government has declared Bhola’s Ilisha-1 as the 29th gas field of the country with an estimated gas reserves of around 200 billion cubic feet (BCF).
With the new addition, Bhola is expected to have a total gas reserve of around 3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) which will be available for 26 to 30 years, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said during a press conference at his residence in Dhaka on Monday.
Ilisha-1 is the third gas field discovered by Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) in Bhola island, the other two being Shahbazpur and Bhola North gas fields.
Nasrul Hamid said Ilisha-1 the new gas field is expected to have gas reserves worth a market value of Tk 6,500 crore. If the value is calculated in terms of imported LNG, it will be Tk 26,000 crore.
Nasrul Hamid said pipeline supply of Bhola gas will be possible in the next two-three years. A pipeline will go from Bhola to Khulna via Barisal. Pre-feasibility of the project has been completed and a feasibility study is underway.
Gazprom EP International BV, a Russian company registered in the Netherlands, is doing gas excavation in the gas fields of Bhola even though Bapex discovered the fields. The move has drawn criticism from experts who as Bapex spends Tk 80-90 crore on drilling a well, while Gazprom charges Tk 253 crore.
Bapex said the Ilisha-1 is located one and a half kilometres from Bhola North gas field. Bhola North has no structural connection with the gas layers found at Ilisha-1. One field is separated from the other, that is why Ilisha is a new gas field.
Costly Bhola gas for industries
The Sundarban Gas Distribution Company, the state-owned company responsible for distributing gas in South-Western region, signed a 10-year contract with private company Intraco limited on Sunday to supply Bhola's surplus gas to industrial areas.
However, the price of the gas has been fixed at Tk 47.60 per cubic metre, some Tk 17 higher than the current rate in industry. CNG stations need to pay TK 43 for per cubic metre gas.
Speaking about the contract, Nasrul Hamid said this initiative has been taken to ensure the best use of Bhola gas.
According to the Energy Division, in the first phase, 5 MMCf/d gas will be brought to Dhaka from Bhola by CNG. Later, supply will be increased to 25 MMcf/d.
Manufacturing factories suffering from energy shortage in Bhaluka, Gazipur will get priority in gas supply.
Petrobangla said Sundarban Gas Company formed a nine-member committee to look into the transportation of Bhola gas by CNG.
According to a report submitted by the committee to Petrobangla on October 31 last year, the daily gas demand in Bhola is 86 MMCF, while Bhola gas fields have production capacity of 120 MMCf/d, with surplus 34 mmcf/d.
The price of feed gas per cubic metre has been fixed at Tk 17; for CNG stations it is Tk 35.
Intraco is getting Tk 30.60 to supply Bhola gas.