The international oil companies (IOCs) and state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (BAPEX) have dispelled fear of gas shortage in the next five years.
The IOCs and BAPEX have assured the Energy Ministry of sufficient gas reserves in the fields to meet gas need in the near future.
"Gas supply will even surpass the demand by the next year. The production is expected to reach around 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) by the next couple of years," Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) advisor Mahmudur Rahman told reporters following a meeting with the oil and gas companies.
Bibiana will produce around 300 mmcfd by October 2006.
To facilitate transmission of additional gas the government will need to make investment on installation of compressors at several places.
He said the supply of gas will match its demand with the total production reaching 1650 mmcfd by June 2006.
The newly discovered Bangura gas field, being developed by Irish oil company Tullow, and the Titas gas field of the Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd (BGFCL) will supply around 100 mmcfd by the said period.
The country's current gas production capacity is around 1550 mmcfd.
But for a long term gas security, the country must have to go for exploration of new gas and oil fields, he said.
The EMRD adviser also sees no problem of supplying gas to industrial projects of Tata, the Indian business conglomerate, under the existing gas supply situation.
"The potentials of country's gas sector are enormous," said Rahman highlighting the country's strong position in attracting huge investments from foreign countries.
Elaborating on the EMRD's course of action over the next eight months under the present government, Rahman said the main thrust will be given on the exploration of new gas and oil fields.
He said the BAPEX should be engaged in onshore exploration activities and the IOCs in offshore, mainly in the deep-sea.
In its presentation to the EMRD and Petrobangla officials Tullow hinted at the possibility of striking oil reserve near St. Martin's Island in Block 17. The IOC said it would confirm the existence of oil in Bangladesh by October next.
The world-renowned TotalGaz is likely to conduct exploration there, Tullow officials said.
The Cairn Energy disclosed their plan to conduct explorations in potential Block 16 at Meghnama Hatiya.
It has a plan to go for exploration activities in Block 10 at Char Jabbar.
Regarding Block 5 that covers some part of the Sundarbans, the Cairn officials did not see potentials in the near future.
Unocal's successor Chevron spelled out its plan to further develop Jalalabad and Bibiana gas fields.
The EMRD's meeting with the IOCs was aimed at expediting hydrocarbon exploration to meet the growing gas demand in the country.
Activating all the existing non-operative onshore gas blocks lying under the onus of IOCs and BAPEX was also the aim of the meeting.
Currently, the government has eight production sharing contracts (PSCs) with the IOCs for 10 blocks across the country.
The government signed these PSCs in the first and second round biddings in 1993 and 1997 respectively after dividing the country into 23 blocks.