Govt mulls to engage local consultants in oil, gas exploration

Shamim Jahangir

7 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The government is contemplating involvement of local consultants in oil and gas exploration in the country’s onshore and offshore gas fields, as exploration of gas has come down drastically in recent days.

The prime minister’s office has taken the decision recently with Prime Minister’s Power and Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury in the chair.

Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) secretary, Petrobangla chairman and managing director of state-owned Bapex are assigned to look after the issue.

At the meeting, the PMO decided to assign the local experts or consultants to introduce with new technology in oil and gas exploration. Junior officers will also be engaged for ensuring know how of the technology, it decided.

The requirement of natural gas and it’s demand by 2041 will be placed before PMO, the decision also said. If necessary, the state-owned Bapex will initiate joint venture for exploring new gas in the country.

The government is making desperate attempts to explore fresh oil and natural gas in the country’s onshore blocks to maximise the country’s energy outputs, officials said.

“We are reviewing the non-prospective wells and dropping those from the plan. Only prospective wells are being considered for drilling,” a top official of the energy and mineral resources division told the daily sun on Thursday.

He said the government has a target to drill 108 exploratory, development and work-over wells by 2021. “But now we are dropping most of the non-prospective wells,” he said.

The ‘Rupkalpa-1’ project has been designed to implement by 2018. But, the project has been extended by another two years till June 2020 as only one well out of targeted five was drilled in two years. State-owned Bapex slowed down its drilling activities at Srikail structure under onshore block-9 despite International Oil Company Tullow Oil delivered huge output from south part of the gas field named as ‘Bangura’.