Between early 2013 and the end of 2014, Gazprom International, Gazprom's sole specialized enterprise for prospecting, exploration and development of hydrocarbons outside the Russian Federation, carried out a project for drilling production wells at six gas fields in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
This was the first Russian-Bangladeshi joint project in the fuel and energy sector. In April 2012, Gazprom International, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (BAPEX), Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Ltd (BGFCL) and Sylhet Gas Fields Ltd (SGFL) (subsidiaries of Petrobangla, Bangladesh National Oil and Gas Corporation) signed two contracts for construction of production wells. According to these agreements, the Russian side undertook the commitment to design and build ten wells at the following fields: Titas (four wells), Rashidpur, Semutang, Begumganj, Srikail, and Shahbazpur (two wells), with depths of three to four thousand meters. Eight of these wells were designed as slanted, and two as vertical (Rashidpur-8 and Begumganj-3). The works were carried out for 23 months.
In March 2013, Gazprom International started drilling the first two wells (at the Titas and Srikail fields). By the end of November 2014, all ten gas wells were built and put in operation: Srikail-3 with a depth of 3.350m and a gas flow rate of 618.000 m³/day; Titas-20 (3.532m, 300.000 m³/day); Titas-21 (3.545m, 690.000 m³/day); Begumganj-3 (3.565m, 642.000 m³/day); Titas-22 (3.636m, 357.000 m³/day); Titas-19 (3.880m, 425.000 m³/day); Rashidpur-8 (2.990m, 435.000 m³/day); Semutang-6 (3.032m, 191.000 m³/day), Shahbazpur-3 (3.902m, 544.000 m³/day); and Shahbazpur-4 (3.805m, 916.000 m³/day). A total of 35.237 m was drilled within the framework of the contracts at an average overall drilling speed of 1.805 m/rig-month (the maximum speed was at 2.283 m/rig-month, registered at the Shahbazpur-4 well). Tests showed that the maximum total production rate of the wells amounted to 5.118 million m³/day, which is equal to 16.8% of Petrobangla’s production volume and to 7.5% of the total yield in the country.
This means that Gazprom International entirely fulfilled its obligations under the two drilling contracts for BAPEX and BGFCL/SGFL.
In September 2015, two supplementary agreements for construction of five new wells were signed with BAPEX, BGFCL and SGFL.
According to these contracts, Gazprom International shall design and drill three wells at the Rashidpur field, one well at the Srikail field and one well at the Bakhrabad field. The company began to fulfill its obligations under the new contract on 15 February 2016 by starting to drill the Srikail-4 well with a projected measured depth of 3.625m.
Over the previous ten years, there had not been any prospecting and exploration activity in Bangladesh, so the country’s government adopted a programme for drilling new production wells. In 2010, Bangladesh asked the Russian side to participate in hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration works in the country as well as in construction of a unified gas supply system.
Bangladesh’s current daily production volume of 68 million cubic meters does not meet the country’s annual demand for natural gas.
The first working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom, and Syed Abdus Samad, Cabinet Minister and Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, took place in April 2010. The parties decided to create joint expert groups to develop possible cooperation projects and to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with Petrobangla.
Precisely one year later, Alexey Miller met the Bangladeshi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dipu Moni, in Moscow. The sides discussed the opportunities for collaboration in the area of oil and gas field development and gas infrastructure construction in Bangladesh.
At the same time, a Gazprom International delegation visited Bangladesh and held its first meetings with the leaders of the country. During the visit, the parties discussed the possibility of creating a unified gas supply system in Bangladesh based on the model of the Russian system. The Russian delegation pointed at the need in creating an effective system for training skilled personnel for the Bangladeshi oil and gas industry and offered to create a specialized training center at the technical university in Dhaka with the assistance of the Gubkin Russian State Oil and Gas University. The sides also agreed that a joint venture could be the most effective form of collaboration between the two companies.
In April 2013, a scientific conference “Technologies of Geological Exploration” was held at the State University in Dhaka (Bangladesh). It was organized by Gazprom International with the support of Petrobangla. Employees of Gazprom, Gazprom VNIIGAZ, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Gubkin University of Oil and Gas, University of Dhaka, Petrobangla and Gazprom International took part in the conference. The Russian side donated computer equipment to the university's laboratory at the Faculty of Geology.
In July 2014, during a meeting between Valeriy Gulev, the Managing Director of Gazprom International, and Sheikh Hasina, the re-elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh, apart from the plans to continue cooperating in the sphere of services, the sides discussed their intention to establish a joint venture with one of Petrobangla's subsidiaries to work in Bangladesh and in third countries. The Prime Minister also welcomed the Russian initiative to organize the training of Bangladeshi students at top oil and gas universities of the Russian Federation.