More reserves of gas have been found in Bangladesh's Bhola North-2 gas field. The Bangladesh Ministry of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources in a press release said that new gas was found from an appraisal well. It mentioned that the drilling works started at the Bhola North -2 Gas Filed on December 5 last year and ended on January 17 this year after reaching 3,428 metre depth to the underground ground. “Today (Monday, January 23, 2023) the discovery was made after completion of the Drill-Stem Testing (DST).” Read More: Bill placed in JS to pave a way for govt to adjust gas, electricity without public hearing The DST in exploration wells is the last step of oil and gas exploration. “The actual amount of gas production will be determined after completion of the final production testing. But Bapex is hopeful that the field would produce 20 MMCF per day,” said the release.
The salvage operation of the MV-Sagar Nandini-2 vessel that sank carrying 11 lakh metric tonnes of furnace oil in the Meghna River, was launched on Thursday four days after its sinking. A team comprising members of river police, coast guard, divers and Bangladesh Water Transport Inland Authority (BIWTA) started the operation with the help of two barges---Jahura and Humaira this morning. Md Shahjahan, director of river protection and management division of BIWTA, said the furnace oil from the sunken vessel will be first extracted while the dredging work was going on to retrieve it. He said it is not certain how many days it will take to salvage the vessel as the operation depends on tide. The salvage operation will hopefully be completed within next Sunday, he said, adding that they were working carefully due to having explosive substances inside the vessel. On the other hand, fishermen were informed that they spotted fishes floating in the river and might have died due to oil spilled into the river. Read more: Ferry gets stuck in Meghna shoal, passengers rescued The fishers, however, said oil was seen in the river for the first two days since its sinking, though the water is now clear. The vessel named ‘Sagar Nandini-2’ from Chattogram port sank in Meghna as another vessel hit it at Tulatuli Majher Char while heading towards Chandpur Padma Depot around 4am on Sunday. The accident took place due to poor visibility caused by the dense fog. All the fuel spilled into the river. Local people later collected the fuel in containers. Fortunately, all 13 crew members of the vessel were rescued by another vessel passing through the area. The authorities concerned formed two separate investigation committees to unveil the reason behind the sinking. Meanwhile, a large area in the Meghna river has been polluted by furnace oil spill since the vessel with 11 lakh litres of oil sank in the river — posing threat to biodiversity and environment. Read more: Oil spill in Meghna river threatening environment, vessel still not recovered after 36 hours
The MV-Sagar Nandini-2 vessel carrying 11 lakh metric tonnes of furnace oil, which sank in the Meghna River on Sunday, could not be salvaged till Tuesday. Already three vessels have reached in the Meghna River to salvage the vessel. Besides, local administration has formed a nine -member probe body, headed by Additional District Magistrate Ripon Kumar Saha, to look into the incident. The committee has been asked to submit its report within seven working days. Read more: Oil spill in Meghna river threatening environment, vessel still not recovered after 36 hours Md Shahjahan, director of river protection and management division of Bangladesh Inland and Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) visited the spot in the morning and said they are trying to recover the furnace oil from the river. To salvage a sunken vessel from the river is a time consuming matter as there are some explosive substances inside the vessel, he said. The main aim is to recover oil from the river, he added. If there is any negligence on the part of master found during investigation then action will be taken against him, said Shahjahan. Three vessels of SHR Navigation Company Limited—Sagar Badhu-3, Sagar Badhu-4 and Sagar Nandini-3---are trying to salvage the sunken vessel as per the decision of the owners as the BIWTA expressed incapability of salvaging the vessel, he said. He also expected to finish their salvage operation by Wednesday. Read more: Vessel with 11 lakh litre fuel sinks in Meghna river Vessel with 11 lakh litre fuel sinks in Meghna river Staff officer of Coast Guard South Zone, Lieutenant M Hasan Mehedi, said the coast guard members have been providing security to the sunken vessel round the clock since Sunday and already a barge named ‘Humaira’ from Chandpur is on the way to salvage the vessel. The oil chambers inside the vessel have been sealed by the divers and there is no scope to spill out oil, he said. Meanwhile, a large area in the Meghna river has been polluted by furnace oil spill since the vessel with 11 lakh litres of oil sank in the river — posing threat to biodiversity and environment. Jamal Hossain, senior fisheries officer of Bhola Fisheries Department, said fish in the river will be in danger due to the oil spill. A lighter vessel with 11 lakh litres of fuel sank after being hit by another vessel in Meghna river due to dense fog in sadar upazila of Bhola district early Sunday. KM Shafiul Kinjal, media officer of Coast Guard South Zone, said the vessel named ‘Sagar Nandini-2’ from Chattogram port sank in Meghna as another vessel hit it at Tulatuli Majher Char while heading towards Chandpur Padma Depot around 4am on Sunday. The accident took place due to poor visibility caused by the dense fog. All the fuel spilled into the river. Local people later collected the fuel in containers. Fortunately, all 13 crew members of the vessel have been rescued by another vessel passing through the area.
A 21-year-old football fan was killed and seven others were injured in a clash between Argentine fans in Bhola Sadar upazila on Tuesday night. The deceased was identified as Md Hridoy from Dhania union of the upazila. The injured identified as Md Nayon, 17, Abdullah, 24, Mohiuddin, 23, Liton, 22, Sahabuddin, 20, Md Ashiq, 20, and Talha, 20, are now undergoing treatment at Bhola Sadar Hospital. A fight between some supporters of Argentina took place in the Dhaniya union over a food party surrounding Argentina's match against Australia Sunday, locals said. Supporters of the Latin American team again got into a brawl over the issue around 11pm on Tuesday, leaving eight people injured. Of them, Hridoy was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries early Wednesday. Md Shaheen Fakir, officer-in-charge of Bhola Police Station, said they arrested two people over the incident Wednesday and efforts are on to arrest others. Earlier, a case was filed following the incident, he added. Bangladesh is known as a cricket-loving nation, but a passion for the Argentina and Brazil football teams sweeps the country ahead of and during the World Cup. The flags of Argentina and Brazil fly everywhere. The World Cup is now taking a small break after non-stop football for the past two weeks. There will be two days of rest before the quarterfinals start in Qatar on December 9. Argentina beat Australia to get into the last eight. Brazil, which had Neymar back in the lineup after an ankle injury, is there as well, after a 4-1 win over South Korea. Read more: Argentina fan electrocuted while hoisting flag in Gaibandha
November 12 is a day that people of Bhola try to forget. On this day in 1970, a powerful cyclone took away the lives of at least 150,000 people while thousands went missing. Although 52 years have passed since then, natural disasters haven’t stopped from hitting the island district. The lives of people from Bhola continue to be in great danger as the island lacks adequate cyclone shelters. Matlab Munshi, an eyewitness of the devastating cyclone, described how the impact of that brutal cyclone was. “It was raining mildly with stormy wind since that morning. The storm started to turn into a cyclone in the evening and hit the island at night. We didn’t receive any forecast about the cyclone as communication system was weak at that time,” said Munshi. Munshi added that the cyclone had hit a total of 18 coastal districts of the country including Bhola during the pre-independence era. “During the cyclone, 8-10 feet tidal surge from the rivers and the Bay of Bengal submerged everything. When the storm subsided and we went out the next morning, we saw corpses dangling in tree branches and lying scattered everywhere. Many people never found their loved ones again as their bodies were washed away. What’s more painful is that we had to remain without food for 10 days straight, which exacerbated our suffering,” Munshi added. Read: 1,000 more cyclone shelters to be set up: Enamul Kalu Majhi,75, is a resident of Shibpur union under Bhola’s Sadar upazila who had lost 30 people, including seven from his immediate family, to the Cyclone of ’70. While talking to UNB, Kalu described how his family members went missing on that night. “Both my house and my family members were washed away. I along with a brother of mine survived by holding onto a tree. In the morning, I saw dead bodies littering everywhere. After going to the place where my house used to be, I came to learn that all of my family members were taken away by the storm. The situation was so tragic that we had to dig big holes and bury 90-100 bodies together,” Kalu said. People living in other parts of the country and the world came to know about the impact of the cyclone when photos of the disaster were published in Daily Purbodesh newspaper four days later. “After taking the photos of the corpses strewn across the island, I sent them to the newspaper’s office in Dhaka by fishing trawlers. Besides, I sent the news using the wireless system of police. The photo story was published under the heading ‘Cry Bangalees Cry: Corpses Are Dangling in Trees in Bhola’,” said M Habibur Rahman, a Journalist of the newspaper at the time and currently the President of Bhola Press Club. Read: Paikgacha bears the maximum brunt of cyclone Sitrang Fifty-two years have passed since then, but people of Bhola still have to fight with natural disasters on a regular basis. Their lives are still endangered due to a dearth of cyclone shelters in the various chars of the island district. Kabir Patwari, a resident of Char Patila under Bhola’s Charfashon upazila, said that as their Char is separated from the main island, it becomes tough for them to go to cyclone shelters during cyclones. “There are a total of 746 cyclone shelters in Bhola, which are inadequate to accommodate all the needy people of the district. That’s why we need more shelters here,” said Md Abdur Rashid, Deputy Director of Bhola’s Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP). During his visit to Bhola’s Monpura island after cyclone Sitrang, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Enamur Rahman had said that the government has taken up a project to build 1,000 cyclone shelters in the coastal districts of the country. “As of yet, we’ve built a total of 220 new cyclone centers, while construction works of 423 more centers are currently going on,” Enamur said. Read: Cyclone Sitrang aftermath: 10,000 houses in 419 unions damaged, says state minister
State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Thursday (November 03, 2022) announced a new structure of 239 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas from the exploration well No-Togbi-1 under the Bhola gas field. “But this will take one-and-a-half to two years to start producing gas from the well and supply it to the national gas network”, he told reporters while sharing the “good news” at a press briefing at his ministry conference room on Thursday. “We need to build some necessary infrastructures including a processing plant to get this gas available for consumption”, he added. “This is the good news of relief amid ongoing gas crisis… this well can produce 20 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) over 30-31 years”, he said. read more: Can’t import 400 MMCFD gas as per businessmen’s demand: Energy Advisor He noted that the entire gas will have the value of Tk 8000 crore considering the average retail price of the local gas. Nasrul informed that two more wells will be drilled in Shahbazpur upazila in the Bhola gas field while Petrobangla has a plan to drill 46 wells across the country through Bapex, Sylhet Gas field Company Limited and Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL). The US energy company Chevron will also conduct drillings in its extended area of the Bibiyana gas field. Read more: Low-pressure problem in gas supply to industries to be resolved: Nasrul “We hope, once these 46 wells will be drilled, some 600-700 MMCFD gas will be added to the national gas grid by 2025”, he said adding that in the meantime some gas fields will decline production by 200 MMCFD. Currently, the state minister said that the country’s daily gas production is 2,300 MMCFD from different gas fields against a demand of 3,400 MMCFD. Alongside the local gas production, some 400 MMCFD gas is being imported under long-term contract. Responding to a question on the government’s move for increasing gas supply, Nasrul said that the government had to suspend import of gas from the international spot market due to excessive price hike. Read More: Gas supply to remain suspended in some Dhaka areas including Gulshan, Banani for 11 hours “If the government imports one ship of gas, it costs Tk 1500 crore while it has to sell it at Tk 58 crore. There is a huge gap between imported price and selling price”, he said the government cannot afford it without raising prices. He said the government did not raise the price considering its impacts. “That’s why we cannot use gas to generate electricity that leads to load shedding,” he said. “We hope, from the current month, the extent of load shedding will decrease. We’re planning to improve the situation from next February through some external management”, he said. Read More: “Assurance of getting oil, gas from India big accomplishment of recent visit” He said gas demand for industries increased for which the industrial sector of Bangladesh is experiencing a crisis. But supply remains the same as that was in the previous year.
The low-lying areas of Bhola district have been inundated due to tidal surges and heavy rainfall, caused by cyclone Sitrang, rendering over 20,000 people marooned. The affected people of the areas have been asked to take shelter in cyclone centres, said Bhola district relief and rehabilitation official Delwar Hossain. He said adequate dry foods have been prepared for the people in shelters. "Besides, 25 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 5 lakh have been allotted." Read Fisherman goes missing as trawler capsizes at Mongla port, 21 rescued Meanwhile Bhola deputy commissioner Md Towfiq Elahi Chowdhury said a total of 746 cyclone centres were kept ready to face the disaster. "Eight control rooms have been opened in seven upazilas." Besides, 13,660 volunteers as well as 76 medical teams are working at the field level. "Coast Guard rescue teams are also ready to deal with any post-disaster situation," said Lt Kazi Al Amin, media officer of BCG East Zone. Read 110 evacuated from isolated char in Bhola ahead of Sitrang landfall On Monday (October 24, 2022), Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) evacuated 110 people from Char Patila, an isolated island of Bhola. They were stranded in the middle of adverse weather conditions accompanying cyclone Sitrang.
Cyclonic Sitrang crossed the Barishal-Chattogram coast near Bhola around midnight on Monday (October 24, 2022) but weakened rapidly into a depression by giving precipitation, the weather department said in its latest bulletin on Tuesday. Sitrang moved north-northeastwards very fast and crossed the Barishal-Chattogram coast, and now lies over Dhaka-Cumilla-Brahmanbaria and adjoining areas as a land depression, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The maritime ports of Mongla, Payra, and Chattogram have been advised to lower danger signal number 7 and hoist local cautionary signal number 3 instead. Read 110 evacuated from isolated char in Bhola ahead of Sitrang landfall Meanwhile, the maritime port of Cox’s Bazar has been advised to lower danger signal number 6 and hoist local cautionary signal number 3. Under the influence of the new moon phase and steep pressure gradient, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalokathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur, noakhali, Feni, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by the wind-driven surge height of 3-5 feet above the normal astronomical tide. All fishing boats and trawlers over the north Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter until further notice. Read Cyclone Sitrang: Educational institutions in 3 divisions declared closed The front part of the cyclone started lashing Bangladesh from Monday evening, while its centre made its landfall in the early hours of Tuesday. The maximum sustained wind speed within 54 kilometres of the cyclone’s centre at that point was about 62 kilometres per hour rising to 88 kilometres per hour in gusts or squalls. As Sitrang started lashing the country’s coastal areas, nearly all of Bangladesh suffered under inclement weather with uprooted trees or falling branches killing people and disconnecting power transmission lines, and incessant rainfall causing waterlogging in urban areas. Read Cyclone Sitrang: Many areas in Dhaka, Narayanganj plunge into darkness following disruption in power supply Authorities scrambled to move at risk populations to the nearest of some 7,000 cyclone shelters that were opened up, mostly in the 19 coastal districts. According to reports coming in late on Monday night, over 2 lakh people were evacuated to these shelters by the time of Sitrang’s landfall. Authorities in the three southern divisions, meanwhile, declared the closure of all educational institutions till further notice, with some of their premises pressed into operation as cyclone shelters. Most parts of the country, including Dhaka, witnessed moderate to heavy rains throughout Monday under the impact of the cyclonic storm. Read Cyclone Sitrang: Fire service on high alert, opens monitoring cell Authorities prepared more than 7,000 cyclone shelters to evacuate people, while all fishing boats and trawlers over the north Bay and deep sea have been asked to remain anchored. Authorities in Chattogram and other hilly districts warned that landslides could occur if continuous downpour continued. UNB correspondents from across the southern coastal region reported heavy rains and tidal surges since Monday morning. Meanwhile, many areas in capital Dhaka and neighbouring Narayanganj plunged into darkness, following a huge disruption in power supply that authorities blamed on Cyclone Sitrang. Read IGP orders police to be alert in dealing with impact of Sitrang According to officials of the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) and Desco, the two entities which control the distribution network in Dhaka and Narayanganj, many areas experienced blackouts for hours following a fault in the Sympur, Ulan and Maniknagar grid line. “Due to the grid disruption, power supply went off in Dhanmondi, Sher-e-Banglanagar, Kakrail, and Kajla in Dhaka city and also in some areas in Narayanganj city," Bikash Dewan, managing director of DPDC, told UNB. He said many areas also experienced blackouts due to the collapse of trees on the power distribution lines due to the impact of cyclone Sitrang. Read Cyclone Sitrang: Power entities open control rooms
The district administration has taken preparations to move some three lakh residents of the char areas of Bhola district to the shelters as cyclone ‘Sitrang’ is likely to make a landfall in southern Bangladesh coast by early Tuesday. Due to the impact of Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ the residents of Bhola districts have been experiencing light to moderate rain since Monday morning. Mahbub Rahman, an officer of Bhola Weather Observatory Centre, said the local met office recorded 72 mm of rainfall in 24 hours till 3 pm on Monday . Besides, the launch and ferry services on Dhaka-Barishal route remained suspended. The low-lying areas of Dhalchar area were flooded due to tidal surges caused by cyclone ‘Sitrang’. Six teams of Bangladesh Coast Guards are working in the district and they were seen making people alert about the cyclone through loudspeakers. Read: Cyclone Sitrang: Nothing much to worry, says State Minister Enamur Deputy Commissioner Toufique-e-Elahi Chowdhury, said already 746 cyclone shelters were prepared while 1,306 educational institutions will also be kept ready. Besides, the authorities opened eight control rooms while 76 medical teams and 13,600 volunteers were also kept ready, he said. District Relief and Rehabilitation officer Delwar Hossain said 25 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 5 lakh were allocated while preparation were taken to provide 1000 packets of dry food at the cyclone shelters.
Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has said that the government is planning to supply about 80 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFD) from the Bhola district to the national network to ease the nagging energy crisis. “We hope we’re able to bring the gas from Bhola within 3-4 months,” he told a seminar on ‘Mitigation of the Impacts of the Energy Crisis on the Industry Sector’, organised by Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) at a Dhaka hotel today. He also urged all, including businessmen, to reduce the use of electricity. “If you suspend use of electricity during daytime, it will immensely help improve the power supply situation,” he told businessmen amid their demand to import gas as an immediate solution to the crisis. Read Renewable Energy Goal: Industry insiders, experts favour target oriented roadmap With BCI president Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Pervez in the chair, the seminar was addressed, among others, by director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr Binayak Sen, president of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Jashim Uddin, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Md. Saiful Islam, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) president Mohammad Ali Khokon, Foreign Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) vice president Shawpna Bhowmik, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) vice president Aftab Hossain Apurbo and former FBCCI president Abul Kalam Azad. Eminent energy expert Prof Izaj Hossain made a presentation on the issue while economist Zaidi Sattar also spoke on the occasion. Rejecting the demand of the businessmen to import 400 MMCFD gas spending USD 1.2 billion anually to manage the crisis, the Energy Advisor said it’s not possible as the government has to preserve foreign currency to face possible future financial crisis. “We have to be very cautious about spending foreign currency as we don’t know when the Russia-Ukraine war will end,” he said. Read Corruption, plundering, suicidal deals behind energy crisis: BNP About the power crisis, he said some 1000 MW of electricity from coal-based power plants will be added to the national grid by next few months and the government will be able to divert some gas from power plants to industries. In addition, the government is planning to generate another 1000 MW power from renewable sources within the shortest possible time. In his presentation Dr Izaj Hossain said that there are some alternative options for the government to improve the energy situation. These include, import of LNG from spot market as price is declining, and diverting gas to industries, especially in Gazipur, Savar, and Narayanganj from the CNG stations, household consumers and power stations, and shutting down fertilizer factories as the government can import it from the international market. “These will increase gas supply, but may increase load shedding”, he added. Read PM's Energy Adviser hopeful of overcoming power, energy crisis Dr Binayak Sen said that shutting down fertilizer factories and reducing power generation cannot be be good options. The government’s top priority is to support agriculture for food production, he said. BCI president Anwar-ul-Alam Parvez said many industries have to suspend their productions because of the severe gas crisis and load shedding. As a result, import of raw material dropped while export is declining. “If we don’t get adequate gas and power supply, industry will not survive”, he said. BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon said the government should supply gas to the textile industries, even at a slightly higher rate. Read Accelerate gas exploration to overcome energy crisis: ICCB "We can survive if we get gas at a relatively higher price. But without getting gas we cannot sustain”, he said. AK Azad said due to the energy crisis garment factory owners in Bangladesh have to suspend their operations during the daytime and now the situation is forcing them to cut back on manpower. “But if we terminate employees, what will be the impact on society and the economy? That is a big question,” he said.