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Cracks appear in 200 houses due to excess tremor in Bibiyana gas field

Published : Monday, 5 February, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 213

The countrys major gas field, Bibiyana, faced a bitter experience on Saturday night, as angry locals surrounded the gas field and demanded the cessation of operations.

Cracks have appeared in more than 200 houses in Nabiganj upazila of Habiganj due to the excess tremor in the Bibiyana gas field. Locals said there had been a loud sound and excess tremors three to four times daily in the Bibiyana gas field since last Thursday.

"Petrobangla has formed a probe committee to investigate the issue and asked to submit a report within the next seven working days. However, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, Managing Director of Sylhet Gas field, is made the convener of the three-member committee," an Energy Ministry official said.

Chevron, the operator of Bibiyana gas field, spokesperson Sheikh Zahidur Rahman, said that he is unaware of the reason behind this.

"Several tremors were experienced at Bibiyana and its surrounding locations. Based on the information available to Chevron Bangladesh, currently, we haven identified any relation between such tremors and the operations at the Bibiyana Gas plant, which is located in that area. Our robust emergency protocols, inclusive of regular earthquake preparedness training, are designed to handle such natural occurrences. Our primary focus is the safety of our people, the protection of our assets, and the preservation of the environment," the company said.

"There were drilling work or seismic work in the area in the last two weeks; however, we completed the drilling work of Bibiyana well no 28 before two weeks," a senior official of Chevron has said.

"Sometimes, seismic activity might be a cause of tremors," a senior official said. The locals claimed that over 200 houses ruptured in the Inatganj and Dighalbak union. They informed the authority about this.

Meanwhile, Nabiganj police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Masuk Ali and Inatganj union chairman informed Habiganj MP Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury. The locals left the spot after the MP assured them of a solution.

Local MP Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury told the media that she discussed the matter with the state minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and the chairman of Petrobangla. An investigation is underway regarding this, she admits.

Chevron Bangladesh is the countrys largest producer of natural gas and condensate and has produced an average of approximately 1.5 billion cubic feet per day to supply clean energy to Bangladesh since 2016.

Chevron Bangladesh operates three fields: Bibiyana, Jalalabad, and Moulavi Bazar and produces over 50 per cent of the countrys gas demand and over 80 per cent of condensate in the country.

Chevron is the largest American investor in Bangladesh. Chevron has invested over $3.6 billion of foreign direct investment including over $550 million in contracts with local suppliers and contractors in the last 12 years.

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