There is the possibility of discovering and developing coal bed methane (CBM) and shale gas in Bangladesh; however the amounts of gas and the timing of exploration and development are uncertain. It is common to use probabilistic methods to determine the range of possible unconventional resources as well as the associated probabilities and reserve/resource categorization. Such probabilistic methods can be extended to consider the exploration and development timing as well as the amount of resources. We have prepared such a country-wide model for Bangladesh that considers gas supply from existing fields, known prospects and leads, unmapped resources, CBM, and shale gas.

The model results demonstrate possible outcomes for three time horizons: short term (next 5 years), intermediate term (5-10 years), and long term (beyond 10 years). The short term gas supply is dominated by supplies from existing fields. Gas availability in the intermediate and long terms is strongly influenced by possible new discoveries including unconventional gas. The model predicts the probability of sufficient gas supplies to meet demand, and also the possibility of gas supplies in excess of demand. The results are useful for planning concerning (a) gas imports and/or use of other energy types, and (b) the potential need for gas exports or the curtailment of gas production in the event of very substantial gas discoveries. The model also demonstrates the potential benefit associated with acceleration of exploration and development activities.

The probabilistic framework naturally results in a range of scenarios. Such a framework with multiple scenarios and associated probabilities allows for a more informed debate about country-wide energy planning.

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