Country’s energy sector in a mess
A recent news report published in this daily has laid bare the organized chaos prevailing in our energy sector. Facts published in the report, puts the role of country's energy ministry in question. Sadly, experts have linked ministry's negligence and reluctance with the possible risks of country's gas reserves to face an acute crisis any time. We are in complete agreement with the experts, since their apprehensions are absolutely logical in the context of country's biggest gas reserves Titas and Bibiyana, depleting fast.
Already, power plants, CNG stations and tea gardens are running acute shortage of gas for the past few months due to interrupted LNG supply. Reportedly, Petrobangla's production cell has asked Bangladesh Gas Field, the owner of Titas gas field and Chevron, the operator of Bibiyana gas field to extract more gas from aforementioned gas fields against the prohibition of Petrobangla's reserve cell. This reveals that there is an unwritten competition going between two cells of the state-run corporations to establish unilateral control over extracting gas.
We think, the crisis Petrobangla is facing with its two cells at loggerheads regarding gas extraction paints only a bleak picture of the overall mismanagement of the national corporation. And reserve cell's objection against lifting gas from Titas and Bibiyana is justified in the light of past experience.
Earlier, country lost an important gas field Sangu due to Petrobangla's incompetent handling. If our energy authorities do not take lessons from previous erroneous decision makings, certainly our future will grope in the dark for ways. In this situation, coupled with experts we suggest two ways to tackle the imminent crisis; deep drilling (over 4000 meter depth) in proven gas fields and increasing LNG import along with exploring at on and off-shore areas.
It needs to be mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the energy division in 2014 to drill 100 wells in onshore area and expedite fast augmentation. Unfortunately, it was not implemented then. A mysterious delay by the foreign stakeholders took place in this regard for providing the job to their men of choice in energy business and import of LNG.
This gives us a clear idea of the alarming level of mismanagement and inefficiency on the part of our energy authorities in exploring and managing of country's natural resources. We don't know whether the accused personnel in connection to delaying to implement PM's direction have been brought to book. But it is a proven fact, causing deliberate delay in implementing energy projects only increases the project cost.
The only way to restore discipline in country's gas sector is to hold authority concerned accountable. We are drawing urgent attention of the government's highest authority in this regard.