BAPEX starts drilling new gas well in Noakhali

The drilling rigs which has been set up in the Wasekpur village of Sonaimuri upazila in Noakhali to drill a gas well thereProthom Alo

The Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) has officially drilled a new gas field in the Wasekpur village of Sonaimuri upazila in Noakhali.

The drilling started at around 11:30 am Monday. Top BAPEX officials were present at the inauguration ceremony.

Earlier, on 3 March, BAPEX found a gas reserve following the completion of the drilling of well-3 (Char Kakra) under the Shahjadpur-Sundalpur gas field.

All the tests required to start gas extraction from that well are already done. Gas supply to the national grid from that well will start very soon, with an estimated 10 million cubic feet of gas to be supplied from that well every day, expected the officials.

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BAPEX sources say the well in the Sonaimuri upazila is being excavated under the Begumganj-4 (West) Evaluation and Development Well Excavation Project. More than 200 people, including BAPEX engineers and workers are involved in drilling the well. Before that, the authorities planted drilling rigs on 22 April to drill the well. The drilling will continue for 120 days.

BAPEX general manager (drilling) Gazi Mahbubul Haque, general manager Mohammad Shahjahan (engineering) and BAPEX general manager (geology department) Shamsia Muktadir and other BAPEX officials at different levels attended the inauguration programme.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Asaduzzman, the drilling-in-charge of the newly found gas well in Sonaimuroi upazila, said “The drilling rigs were planted beforehand to officially inaugurate the drilling. The initial target is to drill up to 3,200 metres below the ground.”

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“We are expecting natural gas reserves in four zones of the well. We are assuming that we will be able to extract 10 million cubic feet of natural gas from each of these zones which will be added to the national grid.

BAPEX officials say the country needs additional gas to further speed up its economy and industrialisation. To meet this demand, the government is giving utmost importance to domestic energy exploration and production. The government has set a goal to identify 46 new gas fields, development and to drill the worked over well by 2025.

The first ever drilling was held in Noakhali in 1976 as part of the gas exploration programme in Begumganj upazila. Later, another well was drilled in 1978. However, the desired amount of gas was not found in any of the wells.

Some 35 years after that, another well was drilled in 2013 and this time, the authorities identified the desired gas. Extraction from that well started later. That well is providing 8 million cubic feet of gas to the national grid.

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