According to reports, as per the Coal Bed Methane Policy (CBM), Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) through Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) had offered 33 coal blocks for exploration and exploitation of CBM out of which 8 blocks have reached development stage. Further, out of these 8 blocks, one block has entered into commercial production of CBM and 4 blocks are producing incidental CBM. As reported by MoPNG, the current level of production of CBM is 1.07 metric million standard cubic meters per day (MMSCMD). The production of CBM is envisaged to reach 5.77 MMSCMD in 2017-18. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
The Minister stated that Coal India Limited (CIL) has recently been permitted for exploration and exploitation of coal bed methane from areas under its mining leasehold. This is envisaged to facilitate CIL in taking up CBM/CMM (Coal Mine Methane) projects on commercial lines. Earlier in 2008, with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Global Environment Fund (GEF), CIL had successfully implemented a demonstration project for extraction of coal mine methane and its utilization for power generation at Moonidih Mine under Bharat Coking Coal Limited.
The Minister further stated that pursuant to the CBM policy,1997, a consortium of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) & CIL has been allotted two CBM Blocks in 2002 namely, Jharia and Raniganj (North) CBM blocks for commercially exploiting CBM from these blocks. The allotted CBM blocks are not falling within the CIL mining leasehold areas. The work in both the blocks is going on in terms of the provisions made in the contract entered into between Government and consortium of ONGC & CIL. The Government has approved the development plan for both the CBM blocks in 2013 and ONGC being the Operator in both the CBM blocks is taking up the envisaged requisite action. The Government of Jharkhand has granted Petroleum mining lease (PML) for Jharia CBM block to the consortium in July, 2015 which will facilitate taking up further developmental activities, the Minister added.