The prevailing gas crisis across the country, especially in the capital, will not ease unless fresh supply comes from the newly discovered Bangura gas field by middle of April next, Petrobangla sources said.
"Over 60 million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas per day will be added to the national grid from Tullow-operated Bangura gas field of Comilla by April 16, 2006," a senior Petrobangla official told the FE.
He said another well at Titas gas field, now being developed by Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd (BGFCL), will supply over 20 mmcfd boosting the country's total gas production capacity to over 1600 mmcfd.
Currently, the country is experiencing a shortfall in gas supply, resulting in low pressure at the users' end and hampering industrial production, normal household activity and operations of CNG filling stations.
Sources said abrupt increase in gas demand by the country's power generation plants is causing the shortfall.
But additional gas supply to the power plants could not change the power generation scenario as the country is still having a deficit in electricity generation by over 1000 mega-watt (MW) daily.
Sources said the drop in gas supply from the country's lone offshore gas field at Shangu during the last couple of months has worsened the situation further.
Gas production from Cairn-operated Shangu gas field fell by 21.00 mmcfd in last couple of months from 158.70 mmcfd in January 2006 to 137.70 mmcfd in February 2006.
The Sangu gas field operator Cairn energy invested around US$ 18 million last year to increase production but failed as no significant gas was left there, company sources said.
The faulty reserve estimation on Sangu forced the company to invest huge money.
The government recently, however, approved a US$ 63 million investment plan of Cairn Energy, which include drilling of a new production well to enhance Sangu's production, a senior Cairn official said.
Commenting on the city's gas crisis a senior official of the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) said: "City's northern part has been worst affected due to gas shortage coupled with low gas pressure."
Sources said a number of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations could not supply gas to the vehicles due to low pressure.
Frequent power disruptions are also causing forced shutdown of machines at the CNG filling stations in the city.