Chevron makes major new gas find in Bangladesh: govt

DHAKA, September 23, 2009 (AFP) – US energy group Chevron has made the biggest gas discovery in at least a decade in energy-starved Bangladesh, almost doubling the size of a field it is drilling there, a government official said Wednesday. The US firm has told authorities its Bibiyana gas field in Sylhet, northeastern Bangladesh, contains 6.6 trillion cubic feet (186 billion cubic metres) of gas, up from its original size of 3.4 trillion cubic feet, Muktadir Ali, chairman of state-owned Petrobangla said.

“Out of the amount, some 4.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) is recoverable. It’s the biggest new gas finding in at least a decade,” said Ali, whose company shares production with Chevron.

A Chevron spokesman in Bangladesh said the company had submitted its latest reserve figure to Petrobangla recently but would not comment on exact figures.

Bangladesh has been facing an acute shortage of gas since 2008, resulting in production cuts in hundreds of factories.

“The new findings mean we can now scale up gas production within a year and our gas reserve would last a few more years than originally thought,” Ali said.

The country has proven recoverable gas reserves in the Bay of Bengal of more than 15 tcf, but some 60 p