Natural gas in Bangladesh
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The presence of Natural Gas in Bangladesh has been established through exploration by Bangladesh’s public energy company, Petrobangla, and more recently international oil and gas companies (IOCs) have established the existence of a significant energy source.
In recent years, several trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas have been added to the confirmed 10.5 TCF known as of 1996. Due to the fact that there has been comparatively little exploration to date, estimates of the total extractable natural gas resource in Bangladesh are uncertain and vary widely. An estimate of 20 TCF is gaining acceptance among experts, but some argue that experiences in comparable basins elsewhere in the world suggest that the ultimate recoverable resource could be as high as 50 TCF or even 100 TCF.
At the current rate of natural gas use in Bangladesh (1000 mmcfd), the current estimated proven reserves would last 45 years. Even if the present rate of use increases at 10 per cent per year, these reserves would last about 17 years. A reserve-production Reserves-to-production ratio of 17 is higher than that for most industrial countries heavily dependent on natural gas, examples being Norway, Canada, U.S., and U.K. Here only the R/P ratio of gas is being considered for comparison. Relative to Bangladesh, these industrial countries have more diverse indigenous energy sources such as coal, oil and nuclear. The U.S. still uses coal to produce more than half its electricity.
There are huge resources of gas in Bangladesh. Places where gas is commercially refines include: Titas, Habiganj, Bakhrabad, Narshingdi, Meghna, Sylhet, Kailashtilla, Rashidpur, Beanibazar, Fenchuganj and Salda Nadi.
In 2001, Petrobangla Director Major Raihanul Abedin initiated the national plan to decrease the use of using liquid fuels, by introducing natural gas conversion. He thought if cars could be converted to use cooking gas instead of rather harmful fuels, the carbon emission would decrease exponentially. He was given the permission by the Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to carry out his plans. As a result, Asian Development Bank funded his scheme and today more than 80% of Bangladeshi vehicles are run on gas which has lessened pollution significantly.
The domestic natural gas industry
Petrobangla (Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation), a 100 per cent state owned corporation, has the primary responsibility for the natural gas industry in Bangladesh. Petrobangla is under the direction of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources; it comprises several groups of companies:
- An exploration company – Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company
- Production companies – Bangladesh Gas Fields Company and Sylhet Gas Fields Company
- Transmission and distribution companies;
- Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company
- Bakhrabad Gas System
- Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System
- Western Zone Gas Supply Co. (Poschim Anchal Gas Bitaran Company, WESGAS, a new company for distribution of gas in the western part of Bangladesh)
- A compressed natural gas company – Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company
Leading Private Companies Involved in Natural Gas Industry
- Libra Enterprise (www.libraenterprise.com)
- Gasmin Limited
- Foundry Limited
- [M. Raihanul Abedin. Use of CNG as an Alternative Fuel for Transport-Air Pollution Control Perspective (2001) p.49-54, International Seminar on Air Pollution in Dhaka City, October 30, 2001; France Bangladesh Association of Scholars and Trainees (FBAST).
- Dhaka Clean Fuel Project: Bangladesh at Asian Development Bank
- Lisa Schroeder (March 25, 2009). "Compressed natural gas clears the air in Bangladesh: Cleaner-burning fuel is reducing dangerous levels of pollution – and saving money, too.". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Natural Resources of Bangladesh". Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- "Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology". Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- "Natural Gas Options for Bangladesh". Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- "Natural gas reserve estimates vary widely for Bangladesh". Retrieved May 17, 2012.