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Essar Oil plans to increase CBM production

World Coal,

Essar Oil has announced plans to increase production of coalbed methane (CBM) from its flagship Raniganj block in West Bengal five fold over the next 12 months.

The company currently has 137 wells, which produce 220 000 m3/day of gas from the coal seams below ground. This figure is expected to rise to 1.2 million m3/day by mid 2015.

"We are producing well from the block. This is a very efficient fuel and there is good demand. We have lined up customers for the increase in production," said an official from Essar Oil.

The company currently sells the gas produced from the coal seams to local customers in and around Durgapur, through cascades and pipelines.

Essar holds five CBM blocks, with a total area of 2700 km2. Prospective resources of CBM total 10 trillion ft3.

Raniganj is the first of these five CBM blocks to be put on stream by the company. The other four blocks are: Jharkhand, Talcher and Ib valley in Odisha and Sohagpur (NE) in Madhya Pradesh.

The official said Essar was targeting production from the other four CBM blocks in the next three years. However, a spokesperson said, "The timing of production from other blocks will depend upon their respective development plans being approved by the directorate general of hydrocarbons."

According to the Business Standard, the company has so far invested Rs 2,500 crore in its CBM, blocks of which 80% has been invested in Raniganj.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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