Coal bed methane output projected to quintuple by 2017-18

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) India’s coal bed methane (CBM) production, currently a little over one million standard cubic meters per day (mscmd), is envisaged to reach 5.77 mscmd in 2017-18, parliament was informed on Thursday.

“The current level of production of CBM is 1.07 mscmd. The production of CBM is envisaged to reach 5.77 mscmd in 2017-18,” Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said that of the 33 coal blocks offered by the petroleum ministry for CBM exploitation, 8 blocks have reached the development stage, of which only one block has started commercial production, while 4 others are producing incidental CBM.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in his budget 2015-16 speech said the government was preparing a note for approval by the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) that seeks to amend the CBM policy to boost production.

The amendments being sought would allow exploration and exploitation from areas under coal mining leases allotted to public and private companies.

Moreover, contractors would be allowed to sell gas based on price bidding, without restriction by any allocation priority.

The amendments also seek put in place a mechanism for resolving the issue of overlap of CBM blocks with coal, oil or gas fields.

India has 92 trillion cubic feet of CBM reserves, spread over 26,000 sq km of coal-bearing areas.

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