Bapex finds 3tcf gas reserves in Rashidpur field

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Bapex finds 3tcf gas reserves in Rashidpur field
Staff Correspondent

The country’s lone petroleum exploration and production company, Bapex, has estimated a natural gas reserve of three trillion cubic feet in Rashidpur field, which was about 2tcf in the earlier assessment made during its discovery in 1960.

The gas reserve may even turn out to be as high as 4.29tcf, the Bapex assessment report said.

Bapex, a subsidiary of the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation, known as Petrobangla, estimated the reserve after successful completion of processing and interpreting the data of a three dimensional seismic survey conducted in 325 square kilometre area of Rashidpur gas field. The operator of the field is Sylhet Gas Field Limited, another Petrobangla subsidiary.

Petrobangla chairman Hossain Monsur and Bapex managing director Mortuza Ahmad Faruque announced the reserve in a press briefing Monday afternoon. The engineers and officials involved in conducting the 3D seismic survey were also present on the occasion.

Monsur said the SGFL would be able to supply an additional 55 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to the national grid from the western part of Rashidpur field immediately by drilling three gas wells. The gas field is currently supplying 46mmcfd to the national grid.

Petrobangla plans to drill three exploration and six production wells in the gas field under short-, medium- and long-term programmes, he said.

This is for the first time that the state-run company used 3D seismic survey technology in oil and gas exploration on its own. Earlier, Bapex proved its capability of conducting 400 line-kilometre 2D seismic survey in land a year.

Before this, three foreign companies – Grant Geophysical Inc, Petroleum Geo-services, and Geo-kynetics – conducted 3D seismic survey in five gas fields operated by international oil companies.

Citing the success, Monsur said Bapex had proven its capability to conduct all sorts of seismic exploration activities in land.

He also underscored the higher speed and much lower expense of Bapex in conducting the seismic survey than that of the foreign companies.

He, however, did not give any clear answer to a query about whether the land and shallow sea would be reserved for oil and gas exploration and production by Bapex, instead of floating international tenders under the Model Production Sharing Contract, 2011.

The petroleum exploration unit of Bapex discovered gas reserve in the eastern part of Rashidpur field, divided by a fault into eastern and western parts. The unit also found two potential gas layers in addition to the three identified during discovery of the field.

The SGFL is supplying gas to the national grid from six production wells and a total of 482.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas has been extracted from the field since 1960.

According to the Bapex survey report, there is an estimated 1.873tcf gas reserve in the western part and a 0.967tcf reserve of low-to-medium risk category in the eastern part of the field. The report also expects the presence of a 2.42tcf gas reserve of high-risk category in the eastern part. In that case, the gas reserve in the field would rise up to 4.29tcf.

Bapex officials said the data processing and interpretation of two more 3D seismic surveys conducted at Kailash Tila and Haripur would be completed along with the survey reports in 2011.

Bapex, as the implementing agency, started conducting 3D seismic surveys in a 705 square kilometre area in Rashidpur, Kailash Tila, and Haripur gas fields in May 2010 and completed the field works by June 2 last at a cost of Tk 164.4 crore.

The 3D seismic survey team will start conducting another survey in Titas gas field in the upcoming winter, Monsur said.

Bapex has a plan to carry out 3D seismic surveys in 1,850 square kilometre area in six gas fields operated by the state-run oil and gas production companies by 2016.

Monsur said Petrobangla had a target to discover more than 6tcf gas reserve in the next few years to fulfil the country’s need.

It has been estimated that the country would need 21tcf natural gas till 2021, while the estimated gas reserve at the moment stands between 12tcf and 15tcf.

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