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TitlePresent & Future prospects of Natural Gas in Bangladesh
TagsChemical Process Engineering Gases Natural Gas Fuels Liquefied Petroleum Gas
File Size382.7 KB
Total Pages7
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Bangladesh has always been considered a natural gas rich country. It is largely available in the

eastern part of the country extending from greater Sylhet down to greater Comilla, Noakhali and

Chittagong. It has also been discovered offshore in the Bay of Bengal.

Natural gas plays an important role in the country's economy. It is an environment friendly fuel,

which undergoes clean and odorless combustion. It is widely used as fuel for domestic (cooking

and heating), industrial (metallurgical, ceramic, glass, bread and biscuits, power stations, cement

works, factory process steam boilers, etc) and agricultural (drying, heating, steam boilers) use.

LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG), LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG),

COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS (CNG) are obtained from natural gas and are used as fuels in

domestic, industrial and agricultural applications. In chemical industries natural gas is used as

feedstock for the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics, resins, rubbers, and various chemicals such

as carbon black, detergents, ammonia, nitric acid, weed killers, etc.

Natural gas from Bangladesh is very pure, with about 95% to 99% methane and almost no

sulphur. The average compositions are 97.33% methane, 1.72-% ethane, 0.35% propane and

0.19% higher hydrocarbons. Gas in most of the fields is dry, but in a few fields it is wet, with

considerable amounts of condensate, eg at Beanibazar (16 bbl/mmcfg), Jalalabad (15

bbl/mmcfg), and Kailashtila (13 bbl/mmcfg). The total condensate reserve in the country is

estimated at about 65 million barrels.



GAS reserve of Bangladesh:

In Bangladesh, natural gas is one of the important sources of energy that accounts for 75% of the

commercial energy of the country. Till now 23 gas fields have been discovered in the country.

The estimated recoverable proved and probable reserve of the 23 gas fields is 28 TCF. Out of

which, as of June 2009, a total of 8.37 TCF gas has already been produced and as such the left

over proved and probable recoverable reserve is 20 TCF. The probable reserve needs to be

converted into proved reserve through further appraisal/development drilling program for

effective gas based forward planning.

Out of the 23 fields, two are offshore in the Bay of Bengal and the rest are located in the eastern

onshore areas. The gas occurs in Miocene (5 to 24 million years before present)-Pliocene (2 to 5

million years before present) sandstone reservoirs at depths of about 1,000 to 3,500m below the

surface.

The discovered 23 gas fields are at Sylhet, Chhatak, Titas, Rashidpur, Kailastila, Habiganj,

Bakhrabad, Semutang, Kutubdia, Begumganj, Kamta, Feni, Beanibazar, Fenchuganj, Jalalabad,

Narsingdi, Meghna, Shahbazpur, Saldanadi, Sangu, Bibiyana Maulvi Bazar and Sundalpur. Most

of the gasfields are located in and around the frontal fold belt of the Indo-Burman Ranges in the

eastern part of the country.

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Production & Marketing :

Production and marketing of natural gas in Bangladesh started in 1960 with pipeline gas supply

from Chattak gasfield to Chattak cement factory. In 1961, a second gasfield, Sylhet, was put

under production to supply gas to Fenchuganj fertiliser factory. In 1961, the total gas produced

was 3.5 billion cubic feet. Production and marketing of gas in the country has grown steadily

ever since. By the end of 1998, the number of gasfields discovered reached 22, with 12 fields

under production. In 1998, total production of natural gas in the country was 298 billion cubic

feet. The present rate of gas production is about 1,000 million cubic feet per day.

Immediately after the production of natural gas from the gasfields, it is necessary to have gas

flowing through pipelines. Such pipelines are installed according to supply and demand.

Transmission and distribution companies have been formed for the purpose. Bangladesh

possesses an extensive and long-established gas network. An extensive pipeline network brings

gas to consumers, including industrial, commercial and domestic users of natural gas. Among the

industrial users of gas, power generation companies consume the major share of the total gas

produced. In addition, fertiliser and cement factories, pulp and paper mills and other industries

mainly located in the eastern and central parts of the country use natural gas..

Power generation and fertiliser production consumes about 80% of the natural gas produced at

present. The sectorwise use of gas as a percentage of total gas consumed stands as follows:

power (45%), fertiliser (35%), industrial, commercial and domestic (20%). The demand for

natural gas in the country is increasing at a rate of 13.4% annually.

Three transmission and distribution companies are currently supplying gas to three franchise

areas (a) Titas Franchise Area (TFA), (b) Jalalabad Franchise Area (JFA) and (c) Bakhrabad

Franchise Area (BFA). These three areas are separately responsible for supplying gas to - (a)

TFA: Ashuganj Power Station, Zia Fertiliser Factory, Jamuna Fertiliser Factory, Ghorashal Urea

Fertiliser Factory, Ghorashal Power Station, and Mymensingh, Kishoreganj, Netrokona,

Jamalpur and Sherpur districts; (b) JFA: Kumargaon Power Station, Sylhet Paper and Pulp Mills,

Chhatak Cement Factory, Ainpur Cement Factory, private sector cement factories, industrial,

commercial, domestic and other consumers in Sylhet, Chhatak, Sunamganj districts and

adjoining areas, Fenchuganj Power Station, Shahjalal Fertiliser Factory, Habiganj and Maulvi

Bazar areas (Shahjibazar Power Plant, Tea gardens and others); (c) BFA: KAFCO, CUFL, Raozan

Power Plant, Sikalbaha Power Plant, Karnafuli Paper Mills, Chittagong, Comilla, Laksham, Feni

areas (industrial, commercial, domestic and others).

At present, the Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) is operating the 178 km Kailastila

to Ashuganj pipeline (60.96-cm dia) and the North-South Gas Transmission Pipeline. GTCL is

also operating the 58 km Ashuganj to Bakhrabad Pipeline (76.20 cm dia), which was constructed

and commissioned in 1997. It is also extending the transmission network to Beanibazar gasfield

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The downstream activities are mainly confined into eastern region of the country. To achieve

millennium development goal, Bangladesh should be out of the list of least development

countries by 2015 and all houses of the country will be brought under electric network by 2020.

To fulfill such development it is necessary to bring the country under uniform gas transmission

and distribution network. After opening of the Jamuna Bridge, gas pipeline network has been

expanded in the western zone and further network is expected to expand up to Rajshahi &

Khulna district by 2010 under ADB funded Gas Transmission & Development Project. In order

to supply gas to North-Western zone of Bangladesh particularly Syedpur Export Processing

Zone, construction of Bogra-Rangpur-Syepur-Dinajpur Gas transmission Pipeline (20” or 16”

dia X 190 km) project (estimated cost US $ 114.00 or 76.00 million) may be considered on

priority basis. Bangladesh encourages Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to enhance the

industrialization of the country. So, public/private entrepreneurs may participate to setup power

plant and gas based industries effectively in the western part of Bangladesh.



Future Prospects:

The country's present gas reserve of 15 Tcf is modest and will perhaps be enough to meet the

need of the immediate future, but not enough to meet the long-term future demand of the

country. Bangladesh has been very much dependent on natural gas as its primary commercial

fuel. It has no significant oil reserve, no prospect for further hydroelectric projects and the

possibility of having nuclear power is as remote as ever. In the above context, natural gas will

remain the sole source of commercial energy for a long time to come. If Bangladesh starts

exporting natural gas now the present reserve may well be exhausted before an alternative energy

source is in sight. This will be catastrophic for the future energy scenario of the country. As far

as the current gas reserve is concerned, proved reserve is sufficient up to the year 2011.

Thereafter, if probable reserve could be converted into proved reserve, it is estimated to be

sufficient up to the year 2015. Further to that, if probable and possible reserves could be

converted into proved reserve then it is assumed to be sufficient up to the year 2019. Even, if the

projected exploration ventures do not yield significant positive results or existing gas fields fail

to prove presently estimated reserve,

Bangladesh would need 20-25 TCF additional gases by 2025 to keep up its GDP growth of 7%.

Therefore, Bangladesh may have to think about import of gas if significant gas discovery cannot

be made. Keeping this in view, the effort of increasing gas reserves has been continuing at the

end of Petrobangla.

Presently in the FY2009-1 0 the average daily gas demand is planned to be 2,000 MMCFD and it

is expected to increase this daily average gas demand upto 4,500 MMCFD in the FY 2019-20,

therefore, in Bangladesh, it has become extremely important to explore and develop new gas

fields to meet the rapidly increasing demand of gas. To intensify exploration activities, the whole

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