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Petrobangla successor of Bangladesh Mineral Oil and Gas Corporation (BOGMC) which was created through the Presidential Order No 27 on 26 March 1972. The mineral operation of the corporation was segregated and vested with a new organisation, Bangladesh Mineral Exploration and Development Corporation (BMEDC), in 27 September 1972 through the Presidential Order No. 120. The reconstituted Bangladesh Oil and Gas Corporation (BOGC) was short named as Petrobangla through the Ordinance No. 15 of 22 August 1974. In 13 November, 1976, through the Ordinance No. 88, the importation, refining and marketing of crude and petroleum products were separated and vested with the newly formed Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC). BOGC and BMEDC were merged into a single entity called Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Minerals Corporation (BOGMC) by the Ordinance of the government No. 21 of 11 April 1985. In a partial modification of the Ordinance by the law No.11 of 28 February 1989 and the corporation was short named as Petrobangla and was given the authority to hold the shares of the companies dealing in oil, gas and mineral exploration and their development.

Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) is empowered and trusted in performing the following functions and responsibilities:

Exploration and development of oil, gas and mineral resources as per the policies of the government of Bangladesh; overall control and coordination of production, transmission and marketing of gas, condensate, oil and mineral resources produced in the country; conduct necessary research required in oil, gas and mineral exploration and development; implement projects to develop the gas and mineral sector with the annual government budget and with the assistances provided by the international organisations and friendly countries; enter into Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) with International Oil Companies (IOCs) for exploration and development of oil and gas, and to supervise, monitor and coordinate the activities of IOCs under the signed PSCs; coordinate, plan and supervise the activities of the subsidiary companies of Petrobangla; any other functions and responsibilities as directed by the government from time to time.

Currently there are 11 (eleven) companies operating under Petrobangla who are dealing with exploration, production, transmission, distribution, conservation of oil and gas resources and development of coal and hardrock mines, marketing of the mined products and alternative use of oil and gas resources. The companies are :Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company Limited (BAPEX), Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL), Sylhet Gas Fields Limited (SGFL), Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL), Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGDCL), Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution Systems Limited (JGTDSL), Bakhrabad Gas Systems Limited (BGSL), Western Region Gas Company Limited (Wesgas), Barapukuria Coal Mining Company (BCMCL), Maddhyapara Hard Rock Mining Company (MHMCL) and Rupantarita Prakritic Gas Company Limited (RPGCL).

Bangladesh Petrolum Exploration Company Limited (BAPEX) created as a subsidiary company of Petrobangla in 3 April 1989 under the Companies Act, and started functioning from July 1, 1989 by separating the erstwhile exploration directorate of Petrobangla. Later BAPEX was given the authority not only to act as an exploration company but also as a oil and gas development company. Since 1976 Petrobangla/ BAPEX drilled a total of 16 wells for oil and gas exploration and ensured 10 gas fields and one oil field discoveries. Since 1990 BAPEX carried out 2587 line kilometer seismic survey, drilled 3 (three) exploration and 5 (five) workover wells. Apart from geological and geophysical survey facilities BAPEX has its own laboratory and computer based data processing facilities for oil and gas development.

At present, Bapex is producing and supplying gas to the national grid from its two gas fields Fenchuganj and Saldanadi, The Shahbazpur, Bhola gas field explored in 1995, has gone into production and is supplying gas to a power plant since May 2009. Bapex is also producing gas at a well in Fenchuganj.

Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL) the major gas producing company in the country. About sixty percent of country's total gas demand is met by BGFCL. The company is the successor of Pakistan Shell Oil Company which was founded on 26 May, 1956 in Karachi. After the liberation, the company was renamed as Bangladesh Shell Oil Company (BSOC) and carried out its activities till early 1975 when BSOC sold all its shares to the government of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Gas Fields Company was formed with the right to operate the then producing gas fields of Titas and Habiganj gas fields. Kamta gas field was placed under BGFC in 1985.

In 1989 Bakhrabad and Feni gas fields were placed under BGFCL. Two more gas fields Meghna and Narshingdi were handed over to BGFCL in 1992. Presently BGFCL has 7 (seven) gas fields under its control. Of them Titas, Bakhrabad, Habiganj, Narshingdi and Meghna are in production. Production of gas from Kamta and Feni fields are suspended. At present overall production of BGFCL is 720 mmefd from 29 wells of its producing fields. The prime function of BGFCL is production of natural gas and processes it to the pipeline quality. Besides BGFCL carries out various gas field development works including drilling wells for maintaining and increasing production capacity of the gas fields to cope up with the increasing demand for gas and liquid hydrocarbon in the country. Average Condensate production of BGFCL is 482 bbl/day.

Sylhet Gas Fields Company Limited (SGFL) originally owned by Burmah Oil Company (BOC), the company was abandoned by BOC after the liberation of Bangladesh and was taken over by the government in 1972. BOC was later named as SGFCL. Presently 6 (six) gas fields: Haripur (Sylhet), Kailashtila, Rashidpur, Beanibazar, Fenchuganj and Chhatak belong to the company. Among them SGFCL is producing gas and condensate from Sylhet, Kailastila, Rashidpur and Beanibazar gas fields. Production from Chhatak gas field is presently suspended. Haripur oil field since its discovery in December 1986 continued production from its only one well till July 1995. Production from Haripur oil field is presently suspended. For the period July 1990 to June 2000, SGFCL produced 2.9 billion barrel condensate and 56.70 billion cubic meter of gas.

Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) formed as a company to eventually take over all the high pressure transmission gas pipelines of the country for a centralized operation in June 24, 1993. The company started its operation with the North-South 188-kilometer long with 24 inches diameter gas pipeline stretching from Kailashtila gas field to Ashuganj, which was built by Petrobangla earlier. In addition a six inches diameter and 187 kilometer long pipeline for transmission of condensate was also transferred to GTCL. Later the company implemented the construction of 59 kilometer long with 30 inches diameter Ashuganj-Bakhrabad gas pipeline that connected the national gas grid. GTCL is also implementing national gas grid SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) telecommunications systems.

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL) the oldest gas marketing company in the country with a network of transmission and distribution lines. The company handles about 68% of the countries gas sales through its transmission and distribution networks. TGTDCL started its operation in 20 November 1964 within the scope of an Agreement signed in 21 August, 1964 between East Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (EPIDC) and the Shell Oil Company of Pakistan. Later TGTDCL constructed 93-km long Titas-Demra gas transmission pipeline with 14 inches diameter. TGTDCL started supplying gas to Siddhirganj Power Station from April 1968 and that was the beginning of the companies commercial operation. Under the Presidential Order No. 27 of 1972, Clause 10(1), TGTDCL was placed under Petrobangla as a subsidiary company. From July 1990 to June 2000, TGTDCL constructed a total of 3290.48-kilometer pipeline, provided 377,550 gas connections and sold 41.04 billion cubic meter gases to its consumers.

Bakhrabad Gas Systems Limited (BGSL) established in 7 June 1980 as a production cum gas marketing company for Bakhrabad gas field as its source. The company started commercial marketing of gas from 20 May 1984. Later it was transformed into a transmission and marketing company and the Bakhrabad gas field was transferred to BGFCL ownership in May 1989. The BGSL operates in the Chittagong Division area excluding the territory of Brahmanbaria. The company constructed approximately 2017.17 km pipelines, connected to 135,438 customers and sold 13.97 billion cubic meter gases during the period July 1990 to June 2000.

Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution Systems Limited (JGTDSL) formed in 1977 combining the Habiganj Tea Valley and Sylhet town gas distribution projects to facilitate gas supply for greater Sylhet area. Formally the company started its operation by providing gas supply to Hazrat Shahjalal's (R) Mazar in 1978. The JGTDSL was registered under the Companies Act from December 1986. For the last ten years (July 1990-June 2000) JGTDSL built a total of 1776.61 km gas pipelines, connected 10407 customers for gas supply and sold 5.23 billion cubic meter gas.

Rupantarita Prakritic Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) started its operations in 1982 under a pilot project for popularizing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as environment friendly and economic fuel for vehicles. On the basis of the positive outcomes of the 1982-1985 pilot project the Compressed Natural Gas Company Limited started its operation from January 1987. Later the company was given additional responsibilities for extracting Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from the wet gas stream of the country and to refine and bottling them for marketing. Since February 1991 the company was renamed as Rupantarita Prakritic Gas Company Limited (RPCL). Currently RPGCL operates four CNG refueling stations in Dhaka city and has converted so far approximately 1200 vehicles for CNG use. RPGCL plans for installations of more CNG refueling stations in the near future and extend better support for conversion of vehicles for CNG use. RPGCL also signed contract with a Chinese company CDC for jointly develop and operate CNG refueling stations in the country. The Joint venture company has already completed installation of two CNG refueling stations in Dhaka which are currently waiting for commercial operations.

Western Region Gas Company Limited (Wesgas) Petrobangla started implementing the Western Region Gas Supply Project for ensuring gas supply to the regions west to the river Jamuna since September 1997 facilitating gas pipeline network from Elenga to Baghabari and to supply gas to Sirajganj town. Later in November 1999 Western Region Gas Company Limited (Wesgas) was formed with the objective to develop not only gas transmission facilities but also to supply gas to industrial, commercial and domestic consumers of greater Rajshahi area and further to Ishwardi, Bheramara, Pakshi and Pabna area. Wesgas contemplates in future to extend its gas networks for greater Bogra, Rangpur and Dinajpur areas.

Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) formed in August 1998 to operate the Barapukuria Coal Mine Project of Petrobangla with a target production of one million ton of coal from an under construction mine at Barapukuria, Dinajpur. Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited. mandated for Coal mining at Barapukuria, started production in September 2005 with the targeted capacity of 10.00 lakh m tons per year. But the mine produces less than 1 m ton coal/annum. The 250 MW thermal power plant consumes 0.65 m ton of coal/year. Remaining coal is locally used particularly by the brickfields, steel mills, tea-estate and other industries.

Maddhyapara Hard Rock Mining Company Limited (MHMCL) formed to accelerate the construction works of Maddhyapara mine and operate the Maddhyapara Hard Rock Mine Project of Petrobangla at Dinajpur in August 1998. Madhapara Granite Mining Company Limited mandated for hardrock/granite mining at Madhapara,' started production in May, 2007 with the targeted capacity of 16.50 lakh m tons per year (5,500 m tons per day). Till date 459,283.98 m tons of hardrock have been extracted and sold to different organizations. These rocks are used as construction materials for housing apartments, commercial buildings, roads and highways, bridges, dams, river dykes, embankments, flood control, railway ballast and sleepers, decoration pieces, tiles etc. [M Lutfar Rahman Chowdhury and Mushfiqur Rahman]