Sylhet's Pristine Fossil Fuel:
A Victory Day Special Unveiling the World’s Pure Reserves in the Sanctified Depths of Holy Sylhet
By Shofi Ahmed
The recent discovery of oil and gas reserves in Sylhet has indeed sparked immense joy in Bangladesh. Alhamdulillah, seven years ago, on March 25, 2016, I wrote about this reserved fuel in the Bangla Post, Britain’s leading Bangla-English Weekly. Let’s delve into the fascinating aspects of Sylhet’s fossil fuel:
1. Formation and Naming:
- Gas is formed around the bedrock, and there’s a strong belief that Sylhet derives its name from the stone.
- The fossil fuel found in Sylhet appears to be one of the purest in the world, signifying its holiness not only on the surface but also from deep within.
2. Exceptional Purity:
- The natural gas in Sylhet boasts an exceptionally high purity level, with 95% to 99% methane (the primary component of natural gas) and minimal sulphur content.
- This unique composition makes it environmentally friendly and sets a gold standard in the field of natural gas.
3. Spiritual Capital:
- Sylhet, known as the spiritual capital of Bangladesh, now holds this precious resource deep within its soil.
- Its purity resonates with the sacredness attributed to the region.
4. Estimated Reserves:
- While Bangladesh’s huge gas reserves are yet to be fully proven, experts estimate that with its new territory, the country’s natural gas reserves now stand at 200 trillion cubic feet.
- If Bangladesh could recover all of this, it would position itself as one of the largest natural gas producers globally.
5. Challenges and Corruption:
- However, challenges persist. Lack of cutting-edge technology and the presence of corruption within Bangladesh’s ministries pose hurdles.
- Foreign investors are eager to participate in the gas industry, but ensuring that energy benefits reach the poorest citizens remains a concern.
- Transparency International’s ratings highlight corruption risks, emphasising the need for responsible management of this valuable resource.
As noted by The Diplomat, “With foreign investors clamouring to get involved in the gas industry, and the presence of corruption lurking throughout Bangladesh’s ministries, rated some of the worst in the world by Transparency International, much of the energy and revenue won from the U.N. settlement may not get back to the poorest citizens. That means the pain of energy shortages could persist, abetted by corruption in the state sector, and cause lasting damage.”
In summary, Sylhet’s fossil fuel represents not only an economic asset but also a spiritual connection to the depths of the earth. Bangladesh stands at a critical juncture, balancing technological advancement, transparency, and equitable distribution of energy resources. May this newfound wealth contribute to the nation’s prosperity while safeguarding its integrity.
Shofi Ahmed is a full member of Cambridge University based thenakedscientists.com