Government Wants Coal India To Extract 2 MMSCMD Of Coal Bed Methane Gas In 2-3 Years
Day labourers fill baskets with coal at an open pit coal mine in the Bestacolla Colliery in Jharia, Jharkhand, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Government Wants Coal India To Extract 2 MMSCMD Of Coal Bed Methane Gas In 2-3 Years

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The government has asked Coal India Ltd. to produce at least 2 million metric standard cubic metre per day of coal bed methane gas in the next two to three years, according to an official.

The coal ministry has directed the consultancy arm of Coal India to be actively involved in CBM development in the state-run firm's leasehold areas, the official said.

This development assumes significance after the cabinet last year relaxed rules for Coal India for extraction of natural gas lying below coal seams in its blocks in a bid to quickly boost production. CBM is a form of natural gas trapped in coal seams underground, which can be extracted by drilling into the seam.

According to the official, the coal ministry had last month asked the officials of Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, the consultancy arm of Coal India, to get involved more actively for CBM development in Coal India’s leasehold areas.

"For this purpose, a suitable model may be finalised in consultation with respective Coal India subsidiaries, and Coal India should produce at least 2 mmscmd of gas in two-to-three years' time as the country needs such clean gas," the official said.

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute informed the coal ministry that a model contract document and request for proposal to select CBM developer have been prepared and submitted to coal companies, the official said.

"It was informed that the document will be approved by the respective subsidiary boards and then the CBM operators will be engaged," the official added.

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute was of the view that joint venture with coal production companies, being lessee, might expedite CBM development, the official said. Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output.

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