Petroleum Products Bangladesh is not a petroleum producing country though it has a refinery plant- eastern refinery limited (ERL), where imported crude oils from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are processed with a small quantity of oil from Haripur Gas Field and the products are marketed by several marketing companies. Hence, Bangladesh have to depend on imported oil. To meet total demand of commercial energy, Bangladesh imports annually about 1.3 million metric Tons of crude oil. In addition to this, another 2.7 million metric Tons (approx) of refined petroleum products per annum is imported. Condensate is mixed with crude oil. Major consumer of liquid fuel is transport sector followed by agriculture, industry and commercial sector which is mostly met by imported liquid fuel. Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL), a subsidiary company of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), is capable of processing 1.3 million metric Tons of crude oil per year.
The present annual demand of petroleum products in the country is 3.7 million metric tons. Total storage capacity of petroleum products in the country is 687,500 tons, of which the storage capacity at Eastern Refinery Limited is 365,000 tons. In the main installations of three oil-marketing companies of ERL in Chittagong (Padma Oil Company Ltd, Jamuna Oil Company Ltd, Meghna Petroleum Ltd), the total storage capacity is 205,600 tons. Other than Chittagong, oil companies have 19 (nineteen) oil depots in different parts of the country, located at Godenail, Fatullah, Daulatpur, Bhairab, Chandpur, Baghabari, Balashi, Chilmari, Ashuganj, Rangpur, Dhaka, Barisal, Jhalokati, Sreemangal, Sylhet, Parbatipur, Rajshahi, Natore and Harian (Rajshahi).
From Chittagong, 82% of petroleum products are transported by river (coastal tanker), 6% by railway (Tank wagon or Box wagon), 10% by road (Tank lorry/truck) and 2% by other local means (boat, push cart or van etc).
There are 72 coastal tankers (850-1200 tons capacity each) for transportation of petroleum products from Chittagong to Godenail, Fatullah, Daulatpur, Barisal, Jhalokati, Chandpur, Ashuganj and Bhairab depots. There are 33 shallow Draft Tankers (400-450 tons capacity each) for transportation of products from Godenail or Fatullah to Baghabari, Chilmari, Balashi and Chandpur depots.
There are about 1,000 railway tank wagons (meter gauge and broad gauge). From Chittagong, products are despatched to Sylhet, Sreemangal, Rangpur and Dhaka oil depots by rail through meter gauge railway. From Daulatpur products are despatched to Natore, Parbatipur, Harian and Rajshahi depots by rail through broad gauge railway.
There are 759 filling stations, 37 consumer pumps, 1,480 agents/distributors, 1273 LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) dealers and 305 Packed Point Dealers appointed by three oil-marketing companies in the country for retail trading. There are more than 6,000 tank lorries owned by dealers/distributors for transportation of petroleum products from oil company depots to their selling points.
During 1997-1998 the Corporation imported 5,13,000 tons crude oil from Abu Dhabi and 6,31,000 tons crude oil from Saudi Arabia thus totalling 11,44,000 tons under state to state annual contract basis. The C&F cost of this imported crude oil was US$ 151.56 million equivalent to Tk 7,141.51 million. The average C&F import cost was US$ 132.48 per tons.
Similarly in 1997-1998 the Corporation imported about 17,23,000 tons of various grades of Refined Petroleum Products from KPC, SHELL and ESSO and also procured about 12,000 tons bitumen from Iran under international tender. The C&F cost for the above import amounted to US$ 268.06 million equivalent to Tk 12,630.99 million. The imported refined products included 100 thousand tons petrol, 272 thousand tons SKO, 126 thousand tons jet petrol and 1,225 thousand tons HSD. The average C&F cost for this was US$ 154.36 per tons while the average C&F import cost of bitumen was nearly US$ 173.64 per tons. During the mentioned period Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) also imported about 39,742 tons different grades of Lube base oil at a C&F cost of US$ 11.78 million equivalent to Tk 555.07 million and the average import cost was US$ 296.41 per tons. So during 1997-98, BPC imported 29,19,000 tons of crude and refined products and the total import cost amounted to US$ 431.40 million equivalent to Tk 20327.57 million.
During the same period the Corporation exported 1,10,968 tons surplus petroleum products like 10,459 tons naptha and 1,00,509 tons furnace oil from the refinery and earned US$ 10.11 million equivalent to Tk 476.38 million. In that year the country's only refinery produced 11,560,00 tons various finished petroleum products by refining imported crude oils including 38 thousand tons condensate received from the gas fields. At the same time the sole Bitumen plant of the country 'Asphaltic Bitumen Plant' produced 57,462 tons of bitumen and LPG bottling plant 'LP Gas Limited' bottled a total 10,61,000 cylinders (each cylinder containing 12.5 Kg LPG) which were delivered to the three oil marketing companies for marketing purpose. Two lube blending plants of BPC, namely Standard Asiatic Oil Company Ltd and Eastern Lubricants Blenders Ltd, blended different grades of 39,042 tons lubricating oil and supplied to three oil marketing companies. Last year BPC took several initiatives for activating the country wide marketing and distribution of various petroleum products by giving greater importance to the oil demand of the Northern regions. [Rafiqul Islam]