Produce 2 mmscmd gas in 2-3 yrs: Govt to Coal India

Representative image. (Reuters photo)

The government has asked Coal India to produce at least 2 mmscmd 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 (CIL) to be actively involved in coal bed methane (CBM) development in 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 (CMPDI) - the consultancy arm of CIL to get involved more actively for CBM development in CIL leasehold areas.

"For this purpose, a suitable model may be finalised in consultation with respective CIL subsidiaries, and CIL should produce at least 2 million metric standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas in two-three years’ time as the country needs such clean gas," the official said.

CMPDI informed the 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.

CMPDI 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 per cent of domestic coal output.

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