Mineral Resources of Bangladesh

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Geologically, Bangladesh occupies a greater part of the bengal basin and the country is covered by Tertiary folded sedimentary rocks (12%) in the north, north eastern and eastern parts; uplifted Pleistocene residuum (8%) in the north western, mid northern and eastern parts; and Holocene deposits (80%) consisting of unconsolidated sand, silt and clay. The oldest exposed rock is the Tura Sandstone of Palaeocene age but older rocks like Mesozoic, Palaeozoic amid Precambrian basement have been encountered in the drill holes in the north western part of the country.

Because of a different geological environment, important mineral deposits of Bangladesh are natural gas, coal, limestone, hardrock, gravel, boulder, glass sand, construction sand, white clay, brick clay, peat, and beach sand heavy minerals. Tertiary Barail shales occurring within the oil and gas windows have generated natural gas and oil found in Bangladesh. After generation, gas and oil have migrated upward through multi-kilometre rock layers above, to reach and accumulate in suitable sandstone reservoirs in the Neogene Bhuban and Bokabil rock units.

Oil and gas: There are 22 discovered gas fields in Bangladesh of various sizes. The total reserve of 20 gas fields is about 26 Tcf (trillion cubic feet). Gas in most of the fields is dry, in a few fields it is wet, with considerable amounts of condensate, eg at Beanibazar (16 bbl/mmcfg), Jalalabad (15 bbl/mmcfg), and Kailashtila (13 bbl/mmcfg). Currently, natural gas accounts for more than 70% of the total commercial energy consumption and the major part of the future energy demand would be met from it.

Mineral Resources in Bangladesh
The only oilfield of the country has been discovered at Haripur in 1986. It has an estimated in-place oil reserve of about 10 million barrels, with a recoverable reserve of about 6 million barrels. The oil field produced 0.56 million barrels of Oilfield, Haripur, Sylhet oil in six and a half

years, but production remained suspended from 1994. The Haripur oil field has not been fully evaluated and it has been suggested that there is scope for full-scale exploitation after proper appraisal work is carried out.

Crude oil bearing reservoir horizons were also found in Kailashtila and Fenchuganj gas fields but these are yet to be proved commercially viable. A number of international oil companies (IOC) are working in Bangladesh for hydrocarbon exploration. Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company Gasfield, Fenchuganj (BAPEX) , an enterprise of

petrobangla, the only local company, has been working with success.

Coal: first discovered in the country by Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) in 1959 was at great depth. geological survey of bangladesh (GSB) continued its efforts for exploration that resulted in the discovery of 4 coalfields. BHP Minerals, a US-Australian company, discovered a field in 1997 totalling 5 coalfields. All the discovered fields lie in the north-western part of the country.

The development of underground Barapukuria Coal Mine, one of the five fields, started in June 1996, which was scheduled to be completed in May 200l, but due to some changes in mine design it will take some more time. Exploitable coal reserve of Barapukuria is 64 million ton and annual production has been Barajpukuria coal, Dinajpur estimated to be I million ton. A
power station will be set up with a capacity of 300 MW using this coal.

BHP Minerals have discovered the Phulbari coalfield in January 1997. The right has later been transferred to an Australian company, Asia Energy Corporation (AEC), to develop the mine. AEC is now working for a detailed feasibility study for open-pit mine development whose initial annual production will be 2.9 million ton that will later be 9 million ton.

Coal imported from India, China, and Indonesia is mainly consumed in brickfields both in public and private sectors, and in small...
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