Energy crisis deepened for neglecting exploration

16 October 2021

Reza Mahmud :
Government's indecision to explore natural gas in onshore relates to the huge risks of energy crisis in the near future, experts warned.
They also reminded lack of well-planned measures to invest sufficient and skilled manpower for strengthening BAPEX to comfort the country's energy sector.
Experts said that developing skilled manpower in this sector and boosting financial investment are very important to make the local companies efficient to curb more dependency on foreign companies.
Experts said that influenced by several bureaucrats, the government is leaning towards importing gas instead of exploring in our lands and offshore.
They said the world energy market is volatile and the anarchy would be increased as its demand is on rise day by day.
Without sufficient supply of energy, the whole circle of economic activities including mill-industries would be stopped, they said.
In this situation, the government has to make long-term plan to maintain stability on energy supplying.
Sources said, domestic companies are lagging behind in gas production. In the last two decades, 65 per cent of the country's total gas production has gone to foreign companies. Until 1998, the country's gas production was done entirely by domestic companies. But in the last two decades, it has come down to 35 per cent.
In this situation, experts said, if the foreign companies demanded anything against our national interests, and do not accept; the gas production will be stopped. The country is being held captive by foreign companies due to such dependency.
On the other hand, the gas production also decreased which created anxious of crisis in the near future.
Even four five years ago, the daily gas production in the country was 270 crore cubic feet. Now it has come down to 240 crore cubic feet.
According to Petrobangla, the country has so far discovered 28.29 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserves (excluding the Zakiganj-1 gas field).
Of this, 21 TCF is definitely livable.
Till last December, 18.24 TCF has been explored.
As such, there is currently a guaranteed and potentially extractable gas reserve of 10.05 TCF, which will be exhausted within a decade, experts said.
When contacted, energy expert Professor Mohammad Tamim told The New Nation on Friday, "Indecision on exploring gas reserve in onshore and offshore contains real risks of energy crisis."
He also emphasised on recruiting skilled and efficient manpower in energy sector to handle the most important sector efficiently.
When contacted, Professor Dr. Ijaz Hossain told The New Nation on Friday, "It is highly important to invest more money to make BAPEX efficient with skilled manpower."
The Professor said, energy crisis is a worldwide phenomenon and our country should have a long term visionary plan to contain the future risks of the deficit of energy.
According to the master plan of the government, the goal is to gradually increase the import of LNG every year to meet hiking demands.
On the other hand, the price of this product is on the upward in the world market. The cost of importing LNG is also increasing.
According to sources, the Department of Energy has decided not to import LNG from the spot market till next December due to rising prices in the international market. But due to the energy crisis, the decision was eventually abandoned.
Bangladesh has already bought one cargo of LNG from Singapore-based Vital Asia at USD 29.89 per MMBTU. While it was USD 14 in January. Thus, due to increasing demand, the cost of imports is increasing as well as the amount of overall subsidies.

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