Now Aug spot LNG import also halts
Bangladesh looks set to cease liquefied natural gas (LNG) import from spot market in August too as in July despite crippling energy crisis with resultant power outages.
A twin-shock from the Ukraine war-energy blockade and dollar dearth for high commodity prices-forces Bangladesh, as also other countries, to adopt austerity and save foreign exchange.
“State-run Rupantarita Praktritik Gas Company Ltd (RPGCL) has not yet floated tender to import LNG from spot market for August deliveries,” a senior RPGCL official told the FE Saturday.
The company had not floated tender for July deliveries, too, as the government trimmed down the import of expensive LNG from volatile spot market with the implementation of austerity measure shutting all shops and shopping malls after 8 pm every day.
Countrywide power outage, initiated in early July, is the immediate outcome of the government’s austerity measure coupled with less energy supplies to industries and power plants.
Overall electricity supply, however, has improved of late due to lower electricity consumption across the country due to Eid-ul-Azha vacation.
It might make a comeback from this week with the resumption of operations of industries.
State-run Petrobangla, the country’s parent gas company, is currently importing some five LNG cargoes every month from two long- term suppliers,
Qatargas and Oman Trading International, or OQ, which currently cost around $14 per MMBtu.
Bangladesh purchased its latest spot LNG cargo for June 22-23 delivery at the Moheshkhali floating, storage and regasification unit at $24.75 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) to Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd. for a 138,000-cubic-meter cargo.
Bangladesh’s overall natural gas supply now hovers around 2,700 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) with re-gasified LNG at around 500 mmcfd, against total demand for over 4,100 mmcfd, according to Petrobangla.
Bangladesh previously had imposed a daily four-hour gas rationing for industrial clients for 10 days in April, despite protests from business enterprises, to cope with a mounting demand for natural gas.
Petrobangla and its subsidiary gas companies had restricted natural gas consumption from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm daily for industries during the rationing.
Although initial decision was to continue gas rationing for 15 days, the government backed down after 10 days due to businesses protests and increase in the country’s overall natural gas output.
An abrupt fall in gas supply from the country’s largest producing Bibiyana gas-field, operated by US oil major Chevron Bangladesh, prompted the government to go for the fuel rationing .
Chevron had shut six producing gas wells on April 3 on grounds of technical fault.
Supply from Bibiyana had then dropped to as low as around 800 mmcfd from 1,275 mmcfd, which had mounted consumer sufferings with low gas pressure and power outages.
Chevron Bangladesh could resolve the technical anomalies and resumed gas production from damaged wells during late April.
A six-hour supply hiatus for compressed natural gas, or CNG, filling stations from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm daily is, however, still in execution under a separate austerity measure to conserve power and energy.