To explore shale gas reserves in the region, Essar Oil & Gas Exploration and Production (EOGEP) plans to drill two pilot wells in the Raniganj coal-bed methane (CBM) block by the end of 2019. The number of wells will later be increased to 20 at an investment of Rs 551 crore.
The exploratory arm of Essar Group has already received the environmental clearance for 20 wells. According to estimates, the Raniganj CBM block has a potential shale reserve of 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, and a recoverable potential of 1.6 tcf.
Vilas Tawde, MD and CEO of EOGEP, said: “We plan to drill around two wells by the end of December. The investment will be in the form of equity at the rate of $4 million per well. The complete field development will involve a capital expenditure of $1 billion over the next five-six years.”
To establish the shale potential in the Raniganj Coalfield block on an urgent basis, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has requested all operators in the region – Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Great Eastern Energy Corporation, Essar and Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research to collaborate and establish a synergy in shale development, Tawde said.
Exploration of shale gas and development of CBM blocks have a potential to produce 8.5 million metric standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd) of gas from five-six CBM blocks in India. “This is likely to reduce India’s imports by 1%, and save around $250 million annually on imports, which is likely to fall further with other blocks being taken up for development,” Tawde said.
Source: Financial Express, March 23, 2019