We should limit the use of oil, develop our own energy sources

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a situation of war all over the world. And many countries are taking various actions that resemble wartime actions.

We may also need to undertake such proactive initiatives through which economic growth and people’s livelihoods will be protected.

If the Ukraine-Russia war lasts long, the whole world will have to suffer. Already, the United States administration is under enormous pressure as the price of a gallon of gasoline has risen to $5. Oil prices have increased in all countries, including European nations.

This is a new normal for the oil and gas market and it is quite difficult to predict how the market will be in the next few days and what we should do.

But, my guess is that if the Russian-Ukrainian war drags on, the oil supply will come from Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, which have the capacity to produce additional oil. Probably, we will not return to pre-war prices, but the rates will certainly not remain at the current level. Prices will drop even if the war continues for another three to four months.

Apart from the transport sector, power plants are one of the biggest consumers of fuel oil in Bangladesh.

It is good news that some large coal-fired power plants come on line in a few months. For example, the 1,320 MW Rampal plant will be operational next year while that of Payra will provide full capacity once the transmission line crosses the Padma River.

Over the next year and a half, we would be able to close several oil-fired power plants with a total capacity of around 1,500 MW to 2,000 MW, which will help us reduce dependence on oil for power generation. ‘electricity.

We need to increase the number of trains by reducing the number of personal vehicles to accommodate a large number of people. To reduce oil consumption, we must also manage public transport facilities such as the metro.

Other than that, unnecessary travel needs to be stopped, which is a civic responsibility.

The use of personal vehicles will automatically decrease if oil prices are increased, because in Western countries the number of trips would have decreased as a result of such measures. They only opt for a trip if it is urgent and unavoidable. So we have to encourage people to reduce their oil consumption.

Second, we need to develop our own energy resources as much as possible, even if we cannot be completely self-sufficient.

Petrobangla has taken the initiative to increase gas production from its own fields and has claimed that it will be able to add another 600 mmcf of gas by 2025.

These activities must be accelerated to become energy self-sufficient. It would be a great support even if we can produce half of the target from our own fields.

Third, we must emphasize renewable energy as much as we can harness it from different sources, even if it is a very small amount.

At present, the Bangladesh Power Development Board has imposed a cap on the supply of additional solar energy to the national grid by consumers. We need to remove roofing and net metering project limits.

Apart from this, the conservation of gas through efficient use in factories and power plants is important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumption.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has become a field of competition as Europe and America flock to LNG.

Large countries like China and some European countries are pre-booking all LNG facilities that are expected to come on line in the future.

It would be difficult to have long-term LNG supply contracts at this time.

But we must continue to import under the two existing contracts with Qatar and Oman, explore other markets and try to increase the number of long-term import contracts if possible.

Dr M Tamim spoke by phone with TBS Staff Correspondent Eyamin Sajid

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