The barrier is removed, Rashidpur-9 will go into gas production in February
The forest department has obtained permission to cut down trees for laying the pipeline. Tender process for felling of trees is going on. The Managing Director of Sylhet Gas Field Company Limited (SGFCL) Md. Mizanur Rahman informed about the plan to extract gas from Rashidpur-9 well in February.
That well in Rashidpur has been sitting for 5 years saying that 'gas cannot be extracted due to lack of pipeline'. SGFCL took up the 17 km pipeline project as the existing line up to Rashidpur-7 well was unusable. After the publication of several reports on Barta24.com, the existing pipe was found to be fit for use in July 2022 hydro test. After that, it was decided to install a 10 km pipe line (Rashidpur-9) to hook the existing line in well number 6. The pipeline will go through the forest, for this the forest trees will have to be cut.
A letter was given to the forest department on February 12 this year to cut that tree. In view of that letter, the forest department formed the committee. SGFCL finally got the permission last week. Managing Director Md. Mizanur Rahman told Barta24.com that 5 km of the 10 km pipeline has already been completed. Only the forest area remains. We want to complete the installation of the entire pipeline by January and supply gas in February. We expect to be able to extract at least 10 million cubic feet of gas per day.
Although it was neglected earlier, the work gained momentum after the new Secretary Md. Nurul Alam joined the Energy and Mineral Resources Division. It is said that he talked to the secretary of the forest department on the phone and got results.
The Sylhet Gas Field Company and the Energy and Mineral Resources Division were skeptical about the potential well. It did not get any importance even in extreme crisis in the country. Even when the import of LNG was stopped due to high prices in the international market, the well was not noticed.
Currently, imported LNG prices from the spot market are around 12 dollar(mmbtu). Even if the dollar is calculated as 110 taka, the price of gas per cubic meter is about Tk. 47. Adding VAT and tax of Tk. 10 and regasification charge of around Tk 2, the price of gas per unit comes down to Tk 59. But it is possible to get gas from Rashidpur for less than Tk. 1.
It is possible to get 2 lakh 83 thousand 168 cubic meters of gas daily (10 million) at least. The import price of which stands at over Tk. 1 crore 67 lakh. Due to shortage of gas, LNG has to be imported at high prices despite the dollar crisis. But there was an opportunity to do this work long ago. Rather, it is visible that the focus is shifted to the other side. A huge effort is underway to bring 5 million (in the first phase) of gas from Bhola in the form of CNG to alleviate the gas crisis. Recently, Petrobangla has entered into an agreement with Intraco Refueling Limited. The company will transport the gas from Bhola and supply it to the western areas of Dhaka. Intraco will have to pay Tk 30.60 per cubic meter of gas. While industrial plants get Tk 18.02 (large industries) for pipeline gas, the price of this gas is Tk 47.60. A bit more like a joke than a khazna.
Former member of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, energy expert Maqbul E-Elahi Chowdhury told Barta24.com that gas could have been brought from Rashidpur before bringing gas from Bhola. The work could be done within a month or two. There is no risk here like bringing gas from Bhola, and uninterrupted supply is possible. Again that price would have been affordable. It is a big surprise why that work has not been done so far. Only 5 million will come from Bhola in the first phase, with plans to bring in another 20 million later. However, if its efforts were taken, several times more gas could have come from Rashidpur at a price of less than 1 rupee. Neither Petrobangla nor the Energy Division is showing any interest in that regard.
Energy expert Dr. Badrul Imam said, the benefit of not raising the domestic gas is more than the gain. Import may be subject to commission. It's not just from today, but historically there has been a stagnation in research. A change was expected when the government changed, but it didn't change like that. Rather, new clauses have been added to the earlier clauses. If this is the case, the gas sector will be completely dependent on imports in 30 years.
According to Petrobangla sources, Rashidpur gas field was discovered in 1960. Proved reserves are 1060 billion cubic feet, probable is 1373 BCF, more probable is considered 680 BCF. The recoverable amount (1P) and probable reserves are estimated at 2433 BCF. As of January 1, 2022, 675 BCF of gas has been extracted from the gas field. The remaining reserves are 1757 BSF. On November 7, 46.3 million cubic feet of gas was extracted from 5 wells. A total of 11 wells have been drilled in Rashidpur out of which gas has been found in 9. 3 are closed and one is ready for gas extraction but has been sitting since 2017 due to lack of pipeline.