The government has planned to adopt a policy on development of the country's potential gas fields with huge reserves in phases to match with demands.
"We are working on the policy that can be taken up shortly to ensure smooth supply of gas across the country as per requirements," Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) adviser Mahmudur Rahman told the FE.
He said such plan is usually taken almost everywhere in the world to develop gas fields according to needs.
Spelling out the strategy of the policy, the EMRD adviser said the government will fix up different time limits in phases for the development of potential gas fields like Hatiya, Meghnama or Char Jabbar as per gas requirements across the country.
Sources in the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) said the huge gas reserve estimation made by the international oil companies (IOCs) Tuesday prompted the government to go for adopting the policy.
During a presentation to the EMRD and state-owned oil and gas company Petrobangla officials, the IOCs disclosed that Bangladesh would have an additional 8.0 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas from new discoveries in the presently-warded blocks by next five years.
Besides, gas supply will surpass the demand by next year with the production of around 300 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) from the Bibiana gas field being developed by Unocal's successor Chevron.
Chevron will produce additional 300 mmcfd of gas from the same field on the following year, the company sources said.
The Scotland-based Cairn Energy disclosed that there are potentials of having gas reserve amounting to 3.50 TCF at Meghnama and 1.76 TCF in Hatiya under its jurisdiction areas in Block 16.
Cairn Energy Sangu Field Ltd and Halliburton Energy Inc have jointly been awarded Block 16 covering the areas of Feni, greater Chittagong, Kutubdia and the adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal for oil and gas exploration.
Besides, gas reserves of 2.30 TCF have also been estimated at Char Jabbar of Noakhali under the jurisdiction areas of Cairn Energy in Block 10.
Cairn Energy Exploration Bangladesh Ltd together with state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (BAPEX) have been awarded Block 10.
Chevron officials said, the existing potential reserve of Bibiana gas field of Block 12 is 2.40 TCF. There might have been a potential reserve of 5.0 TCF there, they hinted.
Irish oil and gas company, Tullow announced of having 437 billion cubic feet BCF gas at Banguara in Block 9 and additional 350 BCF of gas reserves at Lalmai in same block.
MPEMR sources said the supply of gas would match its demand with the total production reaching 1650 mmcfd by June 2006.
The newly discovered Bangura gas field, being developed by Tullow, and Titas gas field of Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd (BGFCL) will supply around 100 mmcfd by the said period.
The country's current gas production capacity is 1570 mmcfd.
Meanwhile, BDNEWS reports: Petrobangla, the state-run oil, gas and mineral resource corporation, will go for exploration in Noakhali's Begumganj with its own fund, officials concerned said.
Under the plan, the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX), the Sylhet Gas Fields Limited, and the Bangladesh Gas Fields Limited have been asked to submit a work plan in six weeks under the joint venture agreement.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Energy Adviser Mahmudur Rahman and officials of Petrobangla and concerned companies.
The drilling will take place in the next season.
Earlier on January 17, Scottish Cairn Energy Plc expressed desire to go for exploration in abandoned Begumganj gas field area under a joint venture with the BAPEX.
Cairn said that there were prospects of discovering gas in Begumganj following findings of seismic survey carried out in block 10.
It said there are three structures of gas in Begumganj area. There is a prospect of having over one trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserve in the area.
However, Petrobangla did not respond positively to Cairn's proposal. Rather, it decided to engage its own companies for the exploration.