Thursday, June 30, 2005

Yet another blown-up gas well

So now Niko Resources' well has blown up again. Not only that, but it will certainly cost Bangladesh hundreds of millions of dollars . All due to Niko's negligence:

According to the estimates of the explorers, the gas reserves below the first layer at 550 metres are no less than 115bcf and the gas loss has been initially forecast at Tk 1,150 crore ($185m). But experts now fear that this major blowout might have destroyed the vast structure in its entirety, killing chances of further commercial extraction.

"The loss of gas reserves alone would be double than what has been predicted in the media. The 260bcf gross reserves will be no less than Tk 2,600 crore ($322 million) at current market rate," a top Bapex official said, wishing anonymity in fear of possible wrath from a powerful lobby that has sided with Niko all the way to the disasters, environmental damage of which is yet to be assessed.


Ah yes, there's that powerful lobby again. Hardly surprising that the government is taking no action at all against Niko for the latest fiasco:

Geologists and drilling experts have no hesitation in singling out Niko for the twin Tengratila disasters and expressed shock at the strange reaction of energy ministry Adviser Mahmudur Rahman who blasted none but two local companies for monitoring failure before suspending two officials of Bapex-- the partner of the highly controversial explorer Niko.


And this time, there's no question that it was sheer negligence and incompetence on Niko's part:

A Petrobangla expert said Niko committed the same crime twice, nakedly exposing their dubious credentials as explorers. The first blowout took place due to faulty well design and wrong drilling while the second was the consequence of the post-blowout mishandling by Niko, he said. He observed that Niko was too sluggish to drill a relief well after the first blowout on January 7, possibly turning about 100sqkm area around the structure into a virtual 'minefield' for any exploration. A relief well should be drilled immediately, preferably within a week, after any blowout, Imam said. But Niko sat on it for six months to let the gas channel through ground layers and then drilled the relief well up to 350 metres when a sudden kick from high-pressured gas pocket led to the blowout.

Well, I am once more disgusted but unsurprised. The sad thing is that this is how the system works in Bangladesh. Corrupt politicians and bureaucrats exist only to rape the country and line their own pockets. The only thing that went wrong this time is that they got a little too greedy and it literally blew up in their faces. But even then, nothing will happen. The only difference is that we can all see what's going on for once.

4 Comments:

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