At the request of BAPEX, Gazprom EP International has implemented a drilling program with tremendous success. Obviously, the Company shows no sign of letting up and intends to build on this success. Currently, Petrobangla and Gazprom EP International are discussing large-scale cooperation including investments, exploration and production, infrastructure development, and JV establishment.
In 2010, Bangladesh's government approached the Russian side with a request to participate in discovering and developing hydrocarbon fields in the country as well as in building a unified gas supply system. The government adopted a drilling program for new production wells since Bangladesh had not seen new exploration activities within its territory for the previous 10 years.
In 2011, Gazprom assigned Gazprom EP International as its operator of international upstream projects to build relationships with the new partners and develop firm plans. This kick-started the communication between the two sides.
The first contract was signed in April 2012. Gazprom EP International and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Сompany Ltd. (BAPEX), Bangladesh Gas Fields Сompany Ltd (BGFCL), and Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd (SGFL) — subsidiaries of the national petroleum corporation Petrobangla — signed two contracts for production well drilling. The Russian side undertook to design and construct ten wells of 3,000–4,000 m at the Titas, Rashidpur, Semutang, Begumganj, Srikail, and Shahbazpur fields.
In March 2013, Gazprom EP International started drilling first two wells (at the Titas and Srikail fields), and, in November 2014, all ten gas wells were fully constructed and brought to normal operation:
Titas-20 (3,532 m, 300,000 m3/d);
Titas-21 (3,545 m, 690,000 m3/d);
Begumganj-3 (3,565 m and 642,000 m3/d);
Titas-22 (3,636 m, 357,000 m3/d);
Titas-19 (3,880 m, 425,000 m3/d);
Rashidpur-8 (2,990 m, 435,000 m3/d);
Semutang-6 (3,032 m, 191,000 m3/d);
Shahbazpur-3 (3,902 m, 544,000 m3/d);
Shahbazpur-4 (3,805 m, 916,000 m3/d).
Total meters drilled under the contracts were 35,237 m. The average commercial drilling rate was 1,805 m/month per drilling rig (the maximum (2,283 m/month per drilling rig) was reached in the Shahbazpur-4 well). The maximum total production rate during well testing was 5.118 MM m3/d, which is equivalent to 16.8% of Petrobangla’s production level and 7.5% of total production in the country.
After the successful implementation of the first joint project, in September 2015 BAPEX, BGFCL and SGFL required to drill five more production wells. Gazprom EP International undertook to design and construct three wells at the Rashidpur field, one well at the Srikail field and one well at the Bakhrabad field.
In 2016, the company constructed all five wells and completed the second stage of the drilling program in Bangladesh more than 5 months ahead of the contract schedule.
In March 2017, Gazprom EP International and BAPEX inked an Addendum for drilling two more production wells (Shahbazpur East-1 and Bhola North-1) on Bhola Island in the south of the country.
In August of the same year, Gazprom EP International started drilling the Shahbazpur East-1 well, and, in November, it produced commercial gas. The projected drilling depth was 3,550 m. The maximum production rate during testing was 952,000 m3/d.
In December 2017, Gazprom EP International started constructing the Bhola North-1 well, and, in February 2018, it produced commercial gas. The depth was 3,516 m. The production rate during testing was 910,000 m3/d.
Cooperating with Petrobangla, it took Gazprom EP International five years (2013–2018) to drill 17 wells. With the overall drilling meterage exceeding 50,000 m and total well flow rate reaching about 7 bcm a year, this increased the country's overall gas production by more than 10 percent
Sergey Tumanov, Managing Director and the Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprom EP International, and Mohammad Ali, Corporate Secretary of BAPEX, in the presence of Alexander Ignatov, Russian Ambassador in Bangladesh, inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Bhola Island Fields Evaluation in Bangladesh on 28 January in Dhaka.
The sides agreed on carrying out the evaluation of the discovered fields and prospects on Bhola Island in order to prepare a rationale for further hydrocarbon exploration, development, and production.
In the near future, Gazprom EP International and ВАРЕХ intend to sign an Addendum for well construction in Bangladesh.