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Coal India to get right to explore CBM gas

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New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) State miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) would soon be empowered to explore coal bed methane (CBM) gas in its mines, Petroleum Secretary Vivek Rae said Wednesday.

“We are about to authorise Coal India to explore its coal blocks for coal bed methane,” Rae said in his address at the Energy Security Conference 2013 here.

The conference was organised jointly by the ministries of external affairs, power and petroleum and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The petroleum ministry has auctioned 30 CBM blocks while three others have been allocated on nomination basis. It is the authority for CBM exploration.

Rae said India has better CBM opportunities than shale.

“The prospects for CBM in India are better than for shale gas and oil. Shale in India does not have that revolutionary potential as is being seen elsewhere,” Rae said.

As the fourth largest coal producer in the world, India holds significant prospects for CBM exploitation.

As per the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, the country’s CBM reserves have been estimated to be around 4.6 trillion cubic metres.

The current production of 0.15 million standard cubic metres per day from three CBM blocks is likely to touch 7.4 million standard cubic metres per day by 2013.

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