The formal announcement on the new gas discovery came at a webinar, organized by energy and mineral resources division to observe 9 August as National Energy Security Day marking the historic decision of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to take over 5 gas fields in Sylhet region from multinational Shell Oil Company in 1975.
The state minister said the new gas field has a possible reserve of 68 billion cubic feet of gas to be extractable in next 12-13 years at 10 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD).
"The value of the entire reserve at the new gas field would be Tk 12.76 billion," he added, saying that a 3D survey will be conducted to find the accurate position of the fossil fuel in the virgin field.
So far, 27 gas fields have been discovered in the country. The proven reserves in these gas fields are 21.4 TCF, with six more TCF potential reserves. Of this, about 18 TCF has been taken. There are only three TCFs left as proven stocks, and potential reserves are likely to be seven more TSFs.
The webinar, presided over by senior secretary of the energy and mineral resources division Anisur Rahman, was also addressed by chairman of the parliamentary standing committee of the ministry concerned Waseqa Ayesha Khan, members of the same committee Khaleda Khanon and Nargis Rahman, eminent energy expert and Buet professor M Tamim, Petrobangla chairman ABM Abdul Faatah, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) ABM Azad, Hydrocarbon Unit director general Monjurul Qader, Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) chairman Arun Karmaker and Energy and Power magazine editor Mollah Amzad Hossain.
Nasrul Hamid said the government has taken an initiative to replace the old gas pipelines in Dhaka city with new ones to check the gas leakages as part of its move to bring the entire gas distribution system under an automation through digitasation.
Anusur Rahman said the government has been importing gas from two companies under long-term contracts and also from other companies on the international spot market to meet the domestic demand.
"This import needs Tk 63.12 billion as subsidy to keep the price low in line with the local gas price as the import cost is $8-9 per unit against the price of local gas at $2.5-3 per unit," he said.
M Tamim said the government should emphasise setting up land-based LNG terminals and also import of electricity from regional sources to meet the growing demand.
He said gas will be used as transitional fuel in the next 20 years prior to using renewable energy as the next future energy.