Strik­ing an Oil Mine­field

Southasia - - Briefing -

Bangladesh has re­cently dis­cov­ered oil re­serves in two of its north­east­ern fields. Pre­vi­ously un­tapped, these oil fields have an ex­tractable re­serve worth of $5.5 bil­lion. The two fields, Kailashtila and Syl­het, con­tain re­serves of 137 mil­lion bar­rels of low sul­fur crude oil, of which 55 mil­lion bar­rels can be lifted com­mer­cially. This dis­cov­ery comes at a time when the global price of oil is ris­ing due to de­mand as well as the risk of sanc­tions on Iran: a chief crude oil ex­porter to nu­mer­ous coun­tries.

Bangladesh has fields of low sul­fur, or “sweet” crude oil that is highly sought af­ter and is more eas­ily pro­cessed into gaso­line than high sul­fur crude. In 2011, the im­pov­er­ished coun­try spent $5 bil­lion to im­port crude and re­fined oil.

State fuel im­porter Bangladesh Pe­tro­leum (Bapex) made the ac­ci­den­tal dis­cov­ery when it was an­a­lyz­ing 3D seis­mic sur­veys in an ef­fort to de­ter­mine the size of re­main­ing gas re­serves in the two fields, which were dis­cov­ered in 1962 and 1955. A small oil re­serve had been found in 1968, but only one mil­lion bar­rels of this were ac­ces­si­ble. This is the first oil dis­cov­ery in Bangla- desh that is eco­nom­i­cally vi­able.

The coun­try is ex­pected to drill wells in the next 18 months and col­lab­o­rate with for­eign con­sul­tants, since it has never con­ducted such an ex­ten­sive oil ex­trac­tion be­fore.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.