US supermajor Chevron has announced plans to expand its Bibiyana natural gas field in north-west Bangladesh.

The new project will include expansion of the gas plant to process increased natural gas volumes from the Bibiyana field, additional development wells, and an enhanced gas liquids recovery unit.

Chevron stated that it would invest about $500 million in the project.

The expansion is expected to boost the company’s total natural gas production capacity in Bangladesh by more than 300 million cubic feet per day, to 1.4 billion cfd, plus 4000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids.

First production is anticipated in 2014.

“As the largest holder of natural gas resources in Asia-Pacific among our peers, this investment in Bangladesh further strengthens our regional portfolio of major gas projects and enhances our position as a leading supplier in the Asia Pacific region,” Chevron vice chairman George Kirkland said in a statement.

Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production president Melody Meyer added that as the largest producing gas field in Bangladesh, Bibiyana was “a leading example of how technology, investment, and expertise can assist countries to utilise domestic resources to secure reliable, cleaner-burning, and affordable sources of energy”.

Bangladesh currently produces up to 55% of its electricity using natural gas, although it suffers gas shortages of up to 500 mmcfd.

As the largest producer of natural gas in the country, Chevron has reportedly urged the Bangladesh government to upgrade its national pipeline network in order to deliver more gas.