Bangladesh Sunday discovered a new layer of gas in a field in the northeastern part of the country with the possibility of a significant amount of fossil fuel in reserves.
The gas structure in the country's Kailashtila gas field in Sylhet, some 241 km northeast of the capital, has been discovered by the state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (BAPEX).
BAPEX Managing Director Mortuza Ahmad Faruque told reporters that the new layer of gas reserve was detected during test drilling at a well in the Kailashtila gas field in Sylhet on Sunday.
There were three gas zones in the well No. 4 of the gas field, he said, adding the new layer was discovered between upper and middle layers of the well at a depth of 2,722 meters.
The official said they could not ascertain immediately the total amount of recoverable gas reserves in the new layer of the field as a thorough analysis and interpretation of the data has not been completed.
Mortuza, however, expressed the hope that by next few weeks they could go for commercial production from the new zone and supply gas from it to national grid.
"We're expecting to add about 20 million cubic feet of gas per day from the new zone which has been identified after a 3D-seismic survey recently," he said.
Earlier in May this year Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, well known as Petrobangla, announced discovery of 137 million barrels of oil in Kailashtila and Haripur gas fields in Sylhet.
The latest discovery of extractable gas elates Bangladesh as the south Asian nation of about 152 million people is in dire need of locating new sources of energy.
Bangladesh's all power plants are currently generating around 5, 600 MW power per day against a peak demand of about 7,000 MW, an official earlier said on condition of anonymity, adding that some power plants are generating far less than their capacity due to inadequate gas supply.
Bangladesh currently faces acute gas shortages, with production at around 2,100 mmcft from 17 of the 24 gas fields per day against demand of more than 2,600 mmcft a day.
Over the last years, BAPEX discovered 11 small to medium-sized fields including one last month. BAPEX on July 31 discovered a new layer of gas in Srikail gas field in Comilla district, some 96 km east of capital Dhaka.
Bangladesh's biggest field is in Bhola, an offshore island covering an area of 3403.48 sq km and about 205 km south of capital Dhaka, which boasts around 600 billion cubic feet reserves.