-Mortuza Ahmad Faruque

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Commpany Limited (BAPEX) emerged as an oil/gas exploration company under Petrobangla in July 1989 as per government decision to expedite petroleum exploration activities within the country, and, subsequently, in February 2000, BAPEX was transformed into an exploration-cum-production company with a view to making it more dynamic and self reliant, said Mortuza Ahmad Faruque, Managing Director, BAPEX in an exclusive interview with The Guardian.

In the present context,  Managing Director of BAPEX informed us that currently, in addition to its main exploration activities in awarded ring-fenced areas, BAPEX has been producing and supplying about 85 mmscfd of gas to national grid from its five gas fields which is more than double of the previous year.

He also informed that in addition to 85 mmscfd of gas, produced for BAPEX own gas fields during 2010-12, 125 mmscfd of gas has been added to the national grid by doing workover  in the different wells / fields of BGFCL & SGFL till date. Very soon Srikail Gas Field will start production by which 30 mmscfd more gas to be added.  He mentioned that gas produced from Shahbazpur Gas Field is being supplied to the 34.5 MW Rental Power Plant of PDB at Bhola.

In reply to a question, the Managing Director said that, presently, Bapex is capable to conduct  3D seismic survey in the on shore areas, and Bapex geoscientists already developed their expertise for processing and interpretation of seismic data. In this context, he mentioned that- in- 2010-12, BAPEX has completed 1370 square kilometer 3D seismic survey over six gas fields namely Titas, Bakhrabad of BGFCL, Sylhet, Kailashtila and Rashidpur of SGFL which in collaboration with BGFCL and SGFL and Salda Nadi Gas Field of BAPEX own.

He further mentioned that success of workover operation in Bangora-3 has increased the confidence level to become partner of IOC in future, and the new rig (Bijoy-10) is capable to drill up to 6000m. Besides, Bapex also extended geological consultancy services to BGFCL and SGFL for  selecting prospective zone and new  location for drilling, he added.

In reply to another question, he informed us that recently BAPEX has discovered two gas fields namely, Srikail Gas Field at Muradnagar, Comilla and Shahjadpur-Sundalpur Gas Field at Companyganj,  Noakhali through drilling two exploration wells.

He also mentioned that development well drilling at Fenchugonj-4 and Saldanadi-3 has already been successfully completed and the presence of commercial gas has been confirmed in new gas zones in both the wells.

He mentioned that based on recent 2D seismic survey conducted over Sunamgonj and Netrokona district, BAPEX has identified a structure prospective for hydrocarbon. He said that recent success of BAPEX has given new rays of hope in the national oil/gas exploration arena.

When asked to assess the success of Bapex, the Managing Director said since beginning to till date, Bapex has completed successfully 21 drilling wells, 22 workover, 6030 Line KM 2D and 1370 sqkm 3D seismic survey.

He feels that the success history of BAPEX has already drawn government attention, for which, government organization standing committee of Jatio Sangsad proposed the concerned authority last April to award BAPEX for “Shwadhinata Award 2012″  as a recognition of its role and contribution to the nation. He hopes that the award will inspire BAPEX to be more committed to the nation.

The Managing Director also points  out that  Bapex is doing much better than earlier though the required manpower and other relevant facilities are not sufficient. In this regard, he also expects that the government should give more attention for strengthening  BAPEX, so that Bapex can be able to play a vital role to meet our growing demand of gas.

In an exclusive interview, the Managing Director replied to several questions, covering entire activities, problems, potentials, contributions, future plan and programme of BAPEX. His deliberation are quite interesting, informative and educative as well. His valuable interview are presentd here for The Guardian readers at home and abroad.

The Guardian: Please give us a brief introduction about formation of Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Company Limited (BAPEX) through which it has come to present position?

Managing Director: Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration & Production Company Limited (BAPEX) is an Exploration and Production Company, fully owned by the Government of Bangladesh having its Head Office in Dhaka. It is operating as a Company under Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla).

BAPEX, before emerging as an exploration Company in July, 1989, was an integral part of Exploration Directorate under Petrobangla. Obviously, BAPEX inherited vast experience from Oil & Gas Development Corporation of Pakistan (1962-1971) and Petrobangla (1972-1989).

In order to accelerate oil and gas exploration activities, government decided to form BAPEX as an oil and gas exploration company and started function  form  July 1989. Initially, the operational expenditure of BAPEX was met from the margin imposed on the gas sale proceeds of the gas distribution companies of Petrobangla.

Subsequently, on February 2000 BAPEX was transformed into an exploration and production company with a view to making it self-reliant. As a result of success growth of its operational activities, at present,  BAPEX is producing and supplying gas to the national grid from its five gas fields through exploration and drilling activities in its own block and ring fenced areas

The decision to utilize Bapex’s expertise to drill new development wells and workover of old wells belonging to Petrobangla production companies BGFCL and SGFL to meet the increasing gas demand of the country proved to be extremely fruitful. It enabled the production companies to carry on the development activities when international rig availability has become very expensive and difficult.

The Guardian: In the present context, would you please say how far its abbreviated name ‘ BAPEX ‘ is appropriate since the abbreviated name does not contain the entire parts of the title of the company?

Managing Director: When BAPEX started its function as an exploration company in 1989 then authority had chosen the abbreviated name BAPEX as an appropriate one. Later from April 2000, BAPEX become functional as a production Company besides its exploration activities.  I think the name BAPEX, should continue as it is well circulated and familiar locally, privately and internationally.

The Guardian: Would you please give a brief over view on gas production scenario of gas fields.

Managing Director: As you are aware, BAPEX emerged as an oil/gas exploration company under Petrobangla in July 1989. Subsequently, in April 2000, BAPEX was transformed into an exploration-cum-production company with a view to making it more dynamic and self reliant. Currently, in addition to its main exploration activities in awarded ring-fenced areas, BAPEX has been producing and supplying about 85 mmscfd gas to the national grid from its five gas fields namely Saldanadi, Fench-uganj, Shahbazpur, Semutang and Sundalpur which is more than double of the previous year. During 2011-12 year, about 15 mmscfd from Semutang gas field (December, 2011); 20 mmscfd from Saldanadi-3 (January, 2012); 20 mmscfd from Fenchuganj-4 (February, 2012) and 10-12 mmscfd from Sundolpur gas field (March, 2012) i.e. total about 62 mmscfd of gas have been added to the national grid. As soon as Srikail gas field starts production, 30 mmscfd more gas will be added to the national grid. Gas produced from Shahbazpur gas field is being supplied to the 34.5 MW Rental Power Plant of PDB at Bhola .

BAPEX has discovered two gas fields namely, Srikail Gas Field at Muradnagar, Comilla and Shajadpur-Sundolpur Gas Field at Companyganj in Noakhali through drilling of two exploration wells. Moreover, development well drilling at Fenchugonj-4 and Saldanadi-3 has already been successfully accomplished and  the presence of commercial gas has been confirmed in the new gas zones of both the wells. During the Saldanadi-1 workover operations, as part of commissioning of the newly procured Rig Bijoy-11, 2515m to 2839m, i.e., 324m has been drillied. Based on recent 2D seismic survey conducted over Sunamgonj and Netrokona district, BAPEX has identified a structure prospective for hydrocarbon. Drilling of an exploratory well (Sunetra-1) is in progress. The success of BAPEX has given new rays of hope in the national oil/gas exploration arena. However, drilling of exploratory wells at Rupgonj, Mobarakpur and Begumganj-North has been included in the upcoming operational program of BAPEX.

The Guardian: Since BAPEX is an important national organization of Bangladesh Govt., it should have head office space combined with other relevant entities and office facilities in one particular place. We see BAPEX offices are scattered in different places of Dhaka city. Would you discuss the reasons behind and  what step should be taken to set-up its head office combined with relevant units and facilities in one particular place so that the organization can function smoothly?

Managing Director: The offices of BAPEX are accommodated in some rental buildings in Dhaka which are unplanned and scattered. Due to scattered locations of various divisions / departments it is difficult to make frequent and closer interactions among their functional activities.

In this regard, BAPEX is implementing a project named “Construction of BAPEX Bhaban”. Under this Project a 13 storied building is almost completed at Kawran Bazar as BAPEX’s head office. The project will be completed by June 2013.

The Guardian: Would you please discuss the scope of area and activities of BAPEX across the country?

Managing Director: The scope of area and activities of BAPEX are as follows:

To carryout geological and geophysical survey investigations, drilling for the purpose of exploration, development and production of hydrocarbon resources and workover of wells is the main scope of work of BAPEX.

The deficiency between demand and supply of gas is increasing day by day. Government has divided the entire country into several blocks to acclerate oil and gas exploration & production activity through foreign investors (IOC’s). Later on all the blocks were opened for international tender under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) but no blocks were allocated for BAPEX at that time. But Government has finally allocated block no. 11 & 8 to BAPEX on 25 May, 2003 and 18 April, 2004 respectively with a view to conduct for exploration and production activities oil and gas.

After the allotment of Blocks BAPEX conducted 816 Line KM 2D seismic survey (30 fold coverage) Kapasia, Katiadi and Haluaghat area in block no. 11 during the fiscal year 2003-2004 to 2005-2006 with its limited resources. About 180 Line KM 2D seismic survey was conducted over the southern part of block no. 11 at Kapasia area in 2005-2006. By accumulating data of Kapasia, BAPEX has delinieated the Kapasia structure. Later on BAPEX drilled a well in that structure but no gas- oil was discovered over there. BAPEX has taken a  future programme of 2D and 3D seismic servey and drilling over the block no. 8 and 11.

Government also awarded to BAPEX  some ring fenced areas,

These are Shahbajpur, Fenchugonj, Saldanadi, Semutang, Begumgonj, Srikail, Patharia, Sitakunda, Sailokupa, Mubarakpur, Patiya, Jaldi, Sitapahar, and Kasalog structure.

Bapex drill new development wells and work over of old wells belonging to Petrobangla’s production companies in order to meet the increasing gas demand of the country. It enabled the production companies to carry out on the development activities.

Currently, Bapex is capable to conduct 2D or 3D seismic survey  at international standard.

To view the detail scope of area of BAPEX, we suggest the browsing of BAPEX web site:

The Guardian: Would you also mention the number of total manpower including engineering and other experts currently working in BAPEX and what facilities are available at BAPEX to improve their professional skill to meet the increasing demand of the sector.

Managing Director: The approved Manpower position of BAPEX is as follows: Technical-447, Administration- 116, Accounts and Finance-55, Total-618.

To improve the overall professional skill and development of employees, some inititives has been taken. Besides, foundation training given to newly recruited officers, overseas training programme are being implemented regularly to train up officers  working in technical, administrative and finance discipline at different levels in order to develop their professionl skill.

The Guardian: Would you please mention the sufficiency of equipment and other relevant facilities available at BAPEX to run its overall activities in a proper way?

Managing Director: Bapex has now 3 drilling rigs (IDECO H 1700 28 years old, IPS Card Well rig-25 years old, one P-80 workover rig, (34 years old). and Bijoy-10, 3 years old, in addition, one new workover rig Bijoy-11 and one 1500 HP drilling rig is under procurement.

The repair and maintenance of all these rig, rig equipment, heavy and light vehicles are done by BAPEX. All these jobs including rig mob-demob, erection-commissioning are also done by BAPEX’s own engineers.

The Guardian: In this context, would you please discuss what limitations and shortages the organization is facing and suggest what further steps should be taken to fill up the shortages in order to enhance the overall status of the organization including manpower, machinery and all other relevant facilities?

Managing Director: The organization is more or less sufficient with equipment (Geophysical, geological, laboratory, rig, rig equipment, crane fork-lifter, and heavy vehicle). But the required manpower (both staff & officer) is quite insufficient. At present, BAPEX has a total manpower of 866 with 392 officers and 474 staff

The construction work of the 13-storied BAPEX Bhaban is in progress. It is expected that the shifting of office to the new Bhaban at Karwan Bazar may start by March -April 2013.

The Guardian: Would you mention the names of drilling and workover wells that BAPEX have explored and developed since its inception to till date?

Managing Director: Names of drilling and workover wells are given below that BAPEX  have explored and developed till date.

The Guardian: Would you inform us about the number of its current production fields and wells of BAPEX?

Managing Director: The number of BAPEX wells and its current gas and condensate production are given below:

The Guardian: Would you please give status of gas condensate Production of BAPEX?

Managing Director: Production Activities: The fiscal year 2011-2012, 133.7 MMscm gas and 4,82,493 liters of condensate have been produced from Saldanadi Gas Field. Produced gas has been sold to BGFCL through Salda-Bakhrabad pipe line and condensate to BGFCL.

During the same fiscal year 293.5 MMscm gas and 10,20,866 liters of condensate have been produced from Fenchuganj Gas Field.  Produced gas has been sold to Jalalabad gas & Karnophully gas through National Grid Line and condensate to BGFCL and SGFL.

During the same fiscal year 19.5 MMscm gas and 2743 liters of condensate have been produced from Shabazpur Gas Field. Produced gas has been sold to 34.5 MW Rental Power Plant at Bhola town through Shabazpur-Bhola pipe line and condensate to Super Refinery (pvt) Ltd.

During the same fiscal year 72.2 MMscm gas and 2,64,306 liters of condensate have been produced from Semutang Gas Field. Produced gas has been sold to KGDCL through Semutang-Chitagong Distribution Line and condensate to BGFCL.

During the same fiscal year 24.9 MMscm gas and 2,539 liters of condensate have been produced from Shahjadpur-Sundalpur Gas Field.  Produced gas has been sold to BGSL through Sundalpur-Maijdee Lateral Line

The Guardian: Please mention the number of different projects that BAPEX has completed till date?

Managing Director: The number  of different projects that BAPEX has completed are given below:

a) Description of Completed drilling and other Projects are given below:

The Guardian: Would you please mention the number of ongoing projects and progress of  activities?

Managing Director: At present, Bapex is carrying out a total number of 10 projects of which 9 projects are financed by GOB and the other one is jointly by GOB and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The total project cost is Tk. 1511.51 crore  including foreign currency of Tk. 1210.81 crore. The cumulative expenditure of the projects is Tk. 737.43 crore (including foreign currency portion of Tk. 624.92 crore). The informations about the projects in brief are shown in the following table :

The Guardian: So far it is learnt that there are some projects underway which will be funding from Gas development fund. Would you please tell us something about those projects?

Managing Director: There are 4 (four) projects are underway of Gas development fund. Current status are given here:

1. Procurement of Standby Gas Process Plant – Approval of DPP under process.

2. Rupgonj Oil/Gas Exploratory Well Drilling Project – Approval of DPP under process.

3. 2D Seismic Project of BAPEX – Approval of DPP under progress.

4. 3D Seismic Project of BAPEX- Expected Approval soon.

The Guardian: There are a number of ongoing drilling projects of BAPEX. Would you mention the names and progress of these projects and also give us an idea about the expected production augmentation from these projects?

Managing Director: At present, Bapex has a total number of 8 projects under Gas Development Fund of which 4 has already got approval and the other 4 are under process of approval by the government. The total cost of the approved projects is taka 1401.34 crore (including taka 1150.38 crore in foreign currency). The informations in brief about the 4 approved projects are as follows :

Ongoing projects under Gas Development Fund (yet to be approved).

A number of 4 projects under Gas Development Fund are under process for approval. The total estimated cost of these projects is Tk. 416.60 crore including foreign exchange portion of Tk. 231.49 crore. The informations in brief about the projects are as follows :

The Guardian: Would you please give a brief on different drilling and workover wells completed in last 2 years?

Managing Director: BAPEX has completed a number of drilling and workover wells in last 2 years a bref on which is described as follows:

Sundolpur-1 Well Drilling: Drilling activities of Sundolpur-1 well Completed to a depth of 3327m has been completed on 11-3-2012 with IDECO H-1700 Rig. Gas reserve has been confirmed through performing necessary works as well as DST of the well within the depth of 1399.50-1402.50m, the completion of well was done on 28-9-2011. Afterwards, the well was brought under production from which currently 10-12 mmcfd gas is being produced.

Kapasia-1 Well Drilling: The drilling operation of Kapasia-1 well was spud in with IDECO H-1700 Rig on 6-2-2012 which was completed at a depth of 3301m on 13-4-2012. The well was declared as a dry well as no gas was discovered.

Saldanadi-3 Well Drilling: The drilling of Saldanadi-3 well was spud-in with Gardenar Denver-E-1100 Rig on 07-6-2011 which was completed at a depth of 2421m on 12-9-2011. Two new gas zones was discovered in this well from which 20 mmcf gas is being produced daily.

Srikail-2 Well Drilling: The drilling of Srikail-2 well was spud-in with Gardenar Denver-E-1100 Rig on 5-5-2012 which was completed at a depth of 3214m on 29-6-2012. The well has been made ready for production to supply 25-30 mmcfd gas to the national grid.

Fenchuganj-4 Well Drilling: The drilling operation of this well was spud in with Bijoy-10 Rig on 7-1-2011 which was completed at a depth of 3600m on 17-5-2011. The activities of this well were completed on 21-2-2012 after confirming gas reserve through DST and all other necessary works.

Sunetra-1 Well Drilling: Bijoy-10 Rig has been shifted to Sunetra-1 from Fenchuganj-4 and drilling is in progress and already drilled upto 4500m.

Kailashtila-4 Workover: The P-80 Rig was erected on 12-3-2012 for the workover operation of Kailashtila-4. The operation started on 7-5-2012 after commissioning of rig and completed.

Semutang-5 Workover: The workover activities of this well started on 28-4-2011 with the P-80 Rig. The well was completed after performing necessary works of the well.

The Guardian: would you tell us the importance and status of 5 wells to be drilled by Gazprom.

Managing Director: BAPEX will be engaged till 2015 to drill 24 wells (excluding workover wells) using its rigs and rigs under procurement. Under the circumstances, there is no scope for BAPEX to contribute for mitigating gas crisis hurriedly. To meet the increasing gas demand and overcome power crisis, it was decided by the govt. to drill 10 wells by Gazprom EP, Russia. under special (provisions) Act 2010,

A project has been approved in 14 June, 2012 at a cost of Tk. 1013.97 crore to be funded by GDF. The objective of the project includes drilling, testing and completion of five wells (Shahbazpur-3 & 4, Begumganj-3, Semutang-6 and Srikail-3) by February, 2014. It is expected to increase 100 MMCF gas daily. A contract between BAPEX and Gazprom has been signed in April. 2012. An L/C has already been established to import drilling rig and other machineries of Gazprom as per contract.

The Guardian: Would you tell us about success of 3D seismic survey done so far and about a plan to conduct 2D & 3D seismic survey in the next?

Managing Director: BAPEX is the sole Govt. organization in the field of oil & gas exploration in Bangladesh. The officers and workers of BAPEX take huge amount of risks to deliver their responsibilities. The massive hard work of these people has made it possible for BAPEX to explore, discover new gas fields all over the country which has played a vital role in overcoming the energy crisis. For many past years BAPEX had been acquiring only 2D seismic data for exploring and delineating prospects. However for the first time ever in the country’s exploration history, BAPEX is operating a complete 3D seismic program. The prime objectives of 3D seismic survey are, to properly delineate the extension of a discovered field, to increase the success rate in any new exploration or development well and to precisely calculate the gas-initially-in-place (GIIP). 3D seismic will not only ensure the country’s gas reserve, but also reduce the risk of drilling dry wells which will enhance the gas production of the country.

It is completely a new venture for BAPEX to carry out 3D seismic program. In the past years, 3D seismic program had been accomplished over only five gas fields (Bibiyana, Chattak, Bangura, Feni and Offshore field Magnama ,Sangu) in the country, all of which were done by foreign companies. In the field season 2010-2012 1370 sq. km 3D seismic data has already been acquired over Rashidpur, Kailashtila, Sylhet, Titas, Bakhrabad & Saldanadi fields. This has set a milestone in petroleum industry by our domestic experts after successful completion of the processing and interpretation of recently acquired 3D seismic data over Rashidpur, Kailashtila, Sylhet and Titas structure. The major successful outcomes of 3D seismic survey are possibility of finding oil in Kailashtila & Sylhet and identifying deeper prospects in Titas. Depending on the interpretation results nine wells in Rashidpur, four wells in Kailashtila, three wells in Sylhet and eleven wells in Titas have been proposed. In Kailashtila field, the existence of new gas layer identified from 3D seismic survey has already been proved by a workover well KTL-4. This layer is already producing about 17 mmcf gas and 150 barrels of condensate per day. From the financial point of view it can be noted that, the expenditure of BAPEX to carry out 3D seismic survey is murch less than that of the foreign companies. It has created new rays of hope for the energy-starved Bangladesh by country’s lone hydrocarbon exploration & production company BAPEX. A team of young and active professionals is successfully conducting the 3D seismic survey of BAPEX.

At present, BAPEX  is planning to conduct 3D seismic survey over BAPEX owned structures-Srikail, Sundalpur-Begumganj, Sunetra, Fenchuganj, Semutang and Shahbazpur with a goal of conducting 1950 sq. km 3D seismic survey during 2012-2017. The project titled ‘3D Seismic Project of BAPEX’ will be implemented under GDF financing with an approximate cost of 180 crore taka.

The Guardian: So far it is learnt that BAPEX is investment prartner in PSC  for different blocks with some foreign companies. Would you tell us something about this?

Managing Director: BAPEX holds a 10% carried interest in the block 9 under the PSC with Tullow Oil and Niko Resources. BAPEX regularly participated in the Technical Committee meetings and Operator Committee Meetings of the block to review and discuss the work plan and budgets. During this year Bangora gas field has maintained a steady production of 85mmcfd. As a part of participatory obligation in the development phase, BAPEX invested US$ 25.34 million so far. Since November, 2009 to June, 2012 BAPEX has received cash revenue worth US$ 13 million as sales proceed of gas and condensate from Bangora gas field.

BAPEX-Niko Joint Venture:

BAPEX-Niko joint venture is suspended on some legal matters. BAPEX is monitoring the legal affairs along with other activities. Gas supply is suspended since May, 2010. About 23 bcf gas and over 22000 barrels of condensate have been produced so far from Feni gas field. The gas produced from Feni entitles BAPEX to about US$ 8.75 million as revenue share; however, due to the legal issues. Meanwhile two arbitration (ARB 10/11 on 27-5-2010 and ARB 10/18 on 28-7-2010) in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Juris Counsel along with two UK-based lawyers has been appointed to plead on behalf of EMRD, Petrobangla and BAPEX.

The Guardian: So far it is learnt that BAPEX has invested in share capital. Would you tell us some thing about this?

Managing Director: Company has no direct investment in share Capital. But against an amount of (One) crore as Fixed Deposit Receipt with ICB Islami Bank (the then Oriental Bank Limited) and STD A/C Balance with  the bank, a total number of 395400 shares of Tk. 10 each have been allotted by the bank in favour of BAPEX as per “Oriental Bank Reconstruction scheme” under Bangladesh Bank.

The Guardian: Would you mention the figure of authorized and paid up capital of BAPEX and its assets of liabilities of profit and loss and contribution to the national exchequer of the Government each year?

Managing Director: The authorized capital of BAPEX is Tk. 3,000,000,000.00 divided into 30,000,000 shares of Tk. 100.00 each and Paid-up capital of the company is Tk. 500,000.00 divided into 5,000 shares of Tk.100.00 each. BAPEX has 30,000,000 Ordinary shares Tk.100 each.

The total net asset of the company as on 30th June’2012 is Tk.1681.83 crore.

During the financial year 2011-12 company earned net profit or 24.30crore.

Every year, BAPEX Contribution aremarkable amount to national exchequer. During the financial year 2011-2012, Company deposited an amount of taka 115.44 crore to the national exchequer under the following heads:

w         Supplementary Duty & Value Added Tax on Gas and Condensate sales.

w         Corporate Tax

w         Debt Service Liability Payment (DSL)

w         Advance Income Tax  (AIT) & Value Added Tax (VAT) Employee Income Tax

The Guardian: Would you discuss the sources of fund for bearing the expenditure of its huge establishment, institutional development and different development and exploration projects round the year?

Managing Director: BAPEX is a state-owned only Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Company in Bangladesh. The main activities of the Company are to carry out Geological and Geophysical Survey, Investigation and Drilling for Exploration, Development and Production of Hydrocarbon Resources by taking different projects duly approved and financed by the Government.

a)         The Development projects of the Company are mainly financed by fund allocation under Annual Development Programme (ADP). ADP Fund for Development Project is generally released as follows:

i)          100% Govt. Equity for Exploration activities.

ii)         For Development Well are on the basis of Debt Equity Ratio of 60: 40.

b)        Equity/ Grants received from the Government/ Donor Agencies related to exploration and production of hydrocarbon.

c)         Some development works e.g. Geological & Geophysical survey, Reservoir      Management Study, Bapex Bhaban etc. has been financed from approved capital budget under revenue budget.

d)         All revenue expenditures including operational expenses of the company are financed by company’s own sources.

The Guardian: It is learnt that BAPEX is also running a number of socio-cultural and sports activities and welfare programme yearly for its employees. Would you tell us such activities and also inform us about the sources of fund for running all these activities?

Managing Director: The following socio-cultural, sports and welfare activities are regularly held on yearly basis. Employees of all levels with their family members participated in the programs with adequate enthusiasm.

w         Educational Scholarship Scheme of Bapex encourages meritorious students among the children of  officers and staff for higher learning  Scholarship has been  awarded to students for brilliant results in primary, JSC, SSC, HSC, graduate and post graduate level.

w         Welfare Trust of the Company helps the officers and staff for specific treatment of critical diseases.

w         With the active participation of company personnel, annual sports, get together, drama and Eid-e-Miladunnabi, picnic, indenpendence day, victory day,  internatioal mother language day was successfully organized and observed on regular basis.

Every year, Company is spending about Tk.45 lac for the above mentioned welfare activities from revenue budget.

The Guardian: Would you express your views on overall work, success and achievement of BAPEX in last 4 years?

Managing Director: With international standard capability in Oil-Gas exploration, BAPEX has made the energy sector of our country thrived a long way forward. In just two years BAPEX has successfully completed 3D seismic survey over 1370 sq kms area of six gas fields namely Rashidpur, Kailashtila, Sylhet, Titas, Bakhrabad and Saldanadi. The outcome of which is remarkable increase in probable and possible reserve of the respective fields. Moreover, locations have been proposed for 27 new development wells including one targeting for liquid hydrocarbon (Oil). Besides, a total 1335 line km 2D seismic survey has been completed @ 334 line km per year which as compared to Foreign Survey Companies is “time and cost effective accomplishment”, saving millions of foreign currency of the country. This achievement is clearly a landmark in the history of exploration by local expertise. According to the current plan/program BAPEX will conduct 3D seismic over about 1950 sq kms area of its own gasfields namely Srikail, Sundalpur-Begumganj, Fenchuganj, Semutang and Shahbazpur gas fields. In this crucial moment of gas crisis of the country, BAPEX has brought a new hope to the people of the country. As a managing Director of BAPEX, I would like to give my heartiest thanks and congratulate all employees of BAPEX.

BAPEX, in the last four years, has achieved considerable success in the oil and gas exploration and development. During this period it has drilled 3 exploratory wells, 2 development wells and 14 workover wells in different gas fields. Among the 3 exploratory wells, gas has been discovered in 2 wells. At present, drilling of Sunetra-  well  near completion and drilling of  Titas-17 has been completed recently.   Drilling cum workover activities in Saldanadi-1 has almost completed. Two more new gas zones in Saldanadi-3 and 2 more new gas zones in Fenchuganj-4 has been discovered. New gas zone in Kailashtila-4 has been discovered from where condensate as by product at a high rate is being produced. As a result of successful drilling and workover activities of BAPEX,  220 mmcfd gas production has been added to the national grid.

As capacity building is concerned to strengthen BAPEX technically, the process of enriching with modern technology, equipment and training is near ending with the finance from  Japan Debt Cancellation Fund under Exploration and Production Capacity Building Project. During this year 22 officers were appointed against the vacant positions of the organogram from the panel made out of the previous recruitment. Recruitment process of more new officers is also underway. The process of providing the newly recruited officers with necessary foundation as well as other training is in due progress. With a view to developing professional skills among the officers, assessing their training needs and providing them with necessary training both at home and abroad is being done regularly and these activities are set to persist on a routine basis. Among various training programs, ONGC of India, AIT of Thailand, Bangladesh Petroleum Institute (BPI), Planning and Development Academy, Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM) and Engineering Staff College are noteworthy. During 2011-2012 fiscal year, a total number of 138 employees received training of which 80 at home and 58 abroad.

The Guardian: What do you expect form the government for further success?

Managing Director: In view of above foregoings as expected earlier, we expect that government will give due priority and attention for strengthening BAPEX, so BAPEX will be able to play a vital role to meet growing demand of gas in the country

The Guardian: Keeping it in mind, would you suggest what strategies and action plans should be taken for future action of BAPEX so that it can fulfill the expectation of the nation in true sense?

Managing Director: BAPEX allready has taken a timebound strategic action plan. Which are as follows:

BAPEX is now planning to do 1950 sq km of 3D seismic survey over six gas fields and 1800 lkm of 2D seismic survey across various districts of Bangladesh within 2012-2017 field season.

Well prognosis and proposal of Sunetra Exploratory well-1 and Rupganj Exploratory well-1 have been prepared. Proposed well of Sundalpur-2 and Semutang-6 have been located on the surface. Geological and seismic data are being reviewd to re-evaluate proposed well location of Saldanadi-4. Interpretation of 2D seismic lines of Madan and Khaliajhuri prospects has been performed. BAPEX Will drill kailashtila-7 for finding and producing oil.

This year PetroMod and TechLog softwares have been procured from M/s. Schlumberger and financed from Sunetra Project. PetroMod is used for basin modelling and TechLog for formation evaluation. By using these softwares interpretation can be done with reliability and less time. Well Correlation and Petrophysical Modules have been purchased this year as add-on modules of the PETREL-Seismic to simulation software procured from M/s. Schlumberger. which are widely used around the world for Geological and Geophysical interpretation, modeling and reserve estimation.

BAPEX have a steady track record in successful 2D seismic data acquisition and as a result of this, BAPEX have discovered Sundalpur and Srikail gas field, added new gas zone in Salda Nadi Gas Field. New well locations have been proposed for Fenchuganj Gas Field to increase gas production. Well proposal of Khaliazuri has been submitted. Proposal for drilling in Madan prospect will be submitted after further data acquisition in upcoming season.

The Guardian: At the end, would you please give your valuable message for all concerned  about your expectations?

Managing Director: We are highly inspired with the initiatives taken by the government to turn BAPEX a technically and financially sound self- reliant company. Government Organization Committee of national parliament has recomended  for nomination to confer ‘Independence Award’ to BAPEX as a recognition of its role which has brightened the image of BAPEX to the nation. BAPEX has already sent a proposal to the government in this regard. We hope that the activities and reputation of BAPEX will increase further by achieving the award which will help BAPEX to reach its desired goal.

I would like to express my views on the following:

To keep manpower, incentives like Separate. Pay Structure, increase of field facilities are required.

Separate Pay Structure

You know that BAPEX as a govt. owned Company under Petrobangla, all employees of BAPEX draw their salary and other allowances as per          NNPS-2009. Amount of salary & other allowances as per national pay scale is bare minimum as compared to salary & allowances received by the employees working in international oil companies like Chevron, Santos and Others. Moreover employees working in oil & gas industries all over the world get handsome salary & allowances which never happened for BAPEX employees.

At present BAPEX possesses modern Rig, machineries & equipment. BAPEX employees have been imparted to extensive training at home & abroad and using the modern technology, professional skill & expertise has been developed in them. This trained manpower is our asset. If we lose them, our exploration work would be seriously hampered. So, an independent pay Structure which has been proposed for BAPEX and now under consideration at govt. level needs to be approved and implemented in BAPEX as soon as possible.

Increase of Field Facilities:

You are aware that our technical, administrative and accounts staff work at the field level in our different drilling and seismic projects and production Crew are also working in our gas fields as well. They work day and night at a stage of 2 weeks or more sacrificing their family life. Their field facilities are inadequate and  not at a good level or standard. So, I think, that their field facilities need to be increased further.

To strengthen BAPEX,we need.

Increase of gas price

Grant from GDF and GOB Fund

Increase of Gas Price

You know that BAPEX gas margin is Tk. 25.00. This amount is not sufficient to make a project viable. Starting from seismic survey up to drilling, testing and completion of a well, huge amount is invested. As BAPEX’s success ratio is concerned for a successful exploration drilling project, that project can not be economically viable if the gas margin is not increased from Tk. 25.00 to atleast Tk. 50.00.

Grant from GDF and GOB  Fund

As extensive exploration activity should continue in the Country by BAPEX in its allocated blocks and ring fenched areas in order to acheive energy security.

Grant from Gas Development Fund (GDF) or GOB fund is always expected because huge investment is required to carry on the exploration activities at BAPEX owned blocks and ring fenched areas. BAPEX is not in a position to bear any financial burden if we have to pay back the allocated fund approved for project with service charge or interest whatsoever.