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Asia steps on the (coal seam) gas

World Coal,

Coalbed methane (CBM) has emerged as a potentially significant alternative source of energy for expanding economies in the Asia-Pacific. The substantial CBM reserves of China, India and Australia have the potential to greatly affect the conventional natural gas landscape in Asia and Oceania. In response to the high prices of import gas, particularly LNG, countries are now looking to incentivise CBM development through less stringent regulation regarding CBM exploitation, favourable fiscal policies and tax breaks for CBM development companies.

China, India and Indonesia already commercially produce CBM and, given recent trends, production is slated to increase considerably in the near future. Australia, the top CBM producer in the Asia-Pacific, plans to expand its extraction of the resource to provide feedstock for a series of LNG plants for export.

In this report, Jonathan Lacouture, GlobalData Energy, US, discusses the establishment of CBM as a viable commodity in Australia, Indonesia, China and India, as well as explaining why there remain key steps still to be taken by other Asia-Pacific countries before any commercialisation of CBM takes place. While China and Australia are currently the undoubted regional leaders for CBM development, Lacouture explains why the prevalence of CBM is expected to rise considerably in the next several decades and become an integral part of the Asian gas market.

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