Unocal to Develop Moulavi Bazar Gas Field in Bangladesh

Unocal Corporation reports that two of its subsidiaries propose to develop the Moulavi Bazar natural gas field that could provide up to 100 million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas per day to meet the needs of the domestic Bangladesh market.

"We could begin commercial production of natural gas from the field within a year after we sign a gas purchase and sales agreement with Petrobangla, the Bangladesh Oil & Gas Corporation," said Andrew L Fawthrop, president and managing director of Unocal Bangladesh, Ltd.

Natural gas production from the Moulavi Bazar field would be delivered into the existing Bangladesh national gas network. Total development cost of the project, including two development wells, has been estimated at US$42 million. Unocal Bangladesh Blocks 13 and 14, Ltd., is operator and, together with Unocal Bangladesh, Ltd., has a 100-percent working interest in the production sharing contract (PSC) covering the field.

This announcement follows the recent completion of appraisal studies of the field. The Moulavi Bazar field is located in Block 14 in the northeast district of Sylhet. The company estimates the field has a gross resource potential of greater than 440 billion cubic feet of gas.

"This announcement reinforces our commitment to meet the nation's energy needs and our partnership with the government and the people of Bangladesh," Fawthrop said. "We highly value this relationship, and we look forward to continue to work together with Petrobangla to deliver the maximum benefit from Bangladesh's resources."

In 1999, the MB #3 well was directionally drilled to a total depth of 7,872 feet in a record time of eight days, the shortest time of any well drilled in Bangladesh. The MB #2 well, drilled in the same year, tested at a record rate of 72 mmcfd from a single production zone, which is the highest test rate in Bangladesh.

The Moulavi Bazar development would supplement Unocal Bangladesh's current production from the Jalalabad field, which supplies gas to the Bangladesh domestic market. Unocal has been producing increasing amounts of gas and condensate from Jalalabad since March 1999.

Unocal subsidiaries also operate and hold a 100-percent working interest in the Bibiyana gas field in Bangladesh under a separate PSC. The company has proposed to export natural gas by pipeline from the Bibiyana field to markets in India. That proposal is currently under review by the Government of Bangladesh.