Government again awarding well drilling work to Gazprom

Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Despite Bapex's capabilities, the government is again going to give the Russian company Gazprom the job of drilling 3 gas wells in Bhola at a high price.

The cost of drilling each well is estimated at 21 million dollar. If the state-owned company Bapex could have been awarded that, it could have ended at 7 to 9 million dollars. Even then, the Russian company is being given the work of digging one well after another at an increased price.

On the one hand, Bapex's equipment and manpower are sitting idle, at the same time the burden of additional debt is being imposed on the domestic company.

Bapex's outgoing number of MDs told Barta24.com that Bapex itself is well suited to dig these wells. They have dug wells in Bhola before. Through which gas is now being extracted. About Taka 40 crore has been spent on that well. Bapex still has more modern technology. Then why it will be said that Bapex will not be able to have any other concern.

Even before this, there has been a lot of criticism about giving work to Gazprom. Gazprom has drilled a total of 18 wells under multiple contracts. The contract value of the first 10 was about 193.53 million US dollars. In other words, the contract value of each well was a little more than 19.39 million dollars. The latest wells drilled by Gazprom have a contract value of 17.47 million each. But this time the decision to break all records has been finalized by the Proposal Processing Committee (PPC) of the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources. Now it will go to the procurement cabinet committee. After the approval there, if the Prime Minister gives final approval, Gazprom will be able to start work in Bhola.

Development of two wells with two explorations and one appraisal (appraisal cum development) Gazprom is being paid 63.56 million dollar to drill these three wells. In other words, the average cost of digging each well is 21.19 million or more than 21 million dollars. This work is being given to Gazprom under the law of increasing the rapid supply of electricity and fuel (special provisions).

An official from the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said on condition of anonymity that Gazprom's offer was worth more than 75 million. Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim, the then senior secretary of Division of Energy and Mineral Resources in November last year led technical sub-committee was formed during his tenure evaluated Gazprom's technical proposal and commercial proposal in December and submitted a report to the PPC. At the PPC meeting, the chairman of Petrobangla also gave a positive opinion on hiring Gazprom. Due to the high pressure of the wells in Bhola, it is risky to extract gas. It is expected that a significant amount of gas can be extracted from 3 wells in Bhola using the previous experience of drilling 16 wells of Gazprom in Bangladesh. Senior Secretary Anisur Rahman at the PPC meeting on the basis of the consensus of all members agreed to that.

On August 30, 2018, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources sent a summary of the proposal to drill the existing three wells for the approval of the Prime Minister, stating that Gazprom would drill these three wells at a 'reduced price'. The Prime Minister approved the proposal. But now the contract price of 3 wells that has been finalized is higher than the price of the wells dug before by Gazprom.

Bapex sources claimed, Bhola is a discovered gas field. Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (Bapex) has discovered it. Bapex has also dug multiple wells there. The three wells that Gazprom is currently being commissioned will also dig at the location specified by Bapex, following the geological technical order (GTO) given by Bapex. Bapex has all the information required for drilling wells as a two-dimensional and three-dimensional seismic survey has been conducted in Bhola. Bapex also has the necessary equipment and manpower, including rigs, for drilling wells. There is a frustration among Bapex officials as they have hired Gazprom at a high price by keeping Bapex at bay. Many are leaving Bapex. Earlier, Bapex had made a DPP worth Taka 55 crore to dig a well in Srikail. Later that DPP was canceled and given to Gazprom for Taka 180 crore. There is a big cycle behind this.

When the Energy Secretary was contacted over mobile phone to discuss the matter but did not receive the call.

আপনার মতামত লিখুন :