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20-year roadmap for BAPEX on cards

Staff Correspondent: The government has asked BAPEX to chalk out a 20-year roadmap for the company stipulating its mission and goal to explore oil and gas from the onshore blocks.

The directive came from a meeting held recently following a Petrobangla request of not inviting bids for onshore blocks from foreign companies. State minister for power and energy Muhammed Enamul Huq chaired the meeting held in the Bangladesh Secretariat.

During the meeting held in the middle of this month, Petrobangla chairman Prof Hossain Monsur said it was conflicting to the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to strengthen BAPEX by awarding onshore exploration bids to international companies.

“The Energy and Mineral Resources Division asked us to prepare a 20-year roadmap and submit it within a month, BAPEX Managing Director Mortuza Ahmed Chisty told daily sun on Saturday.

“We will able to submit the roadmap to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division immediately,” he said.

The BAPEX has a five-year roadmap to produce 500mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) gas from onshore 30 wells till 2015.

“It’s really impossible to explore oil and gas in onshore blocks by BAPEX alone. So the government should initiate joint venture projects with state owned companies and multinational oil companies,” another official of Petrobangla said.

For example, he said, it’s so difficult to explore oil and gas in the Chittagong hill tracts blocks by BAPEX, according to him.

The demand of gas has increased gradually in the country, he said adding that the government should train up manpower and ensure sufficient fund for BAPEX to implement any roadmap.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Division has targeted to produce additional 2,800mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) of gas by 2015. Of the target, 500mmcfd gas would come from BAPEX, 500 mmcfd though import and the rest through other sources.

To achieve the target, Petrobangla has planned to drill five exploratory wells in Sunetra, Sundalpur, Srikail, Kapasia and Mubarakpur structures. It is also planning to drill 31 more development wells in Fenchuganj, Salda, Sahbazpur, Titas, Bakrabad, Rashidpur, Bibyana, Mawlavibazar and Jalalabad fields to produce 1420mmcfd of gas under its mid-term plan targeted to be achieved by the tenure of the present government.

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