Kolkata : Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd (EOGEPL) will invest another Rs 2,000 crore in the next 18 to 24 months in its coal bed methane project in West Bengal’s Raniganj, an official said.
The company earlier had already invested Rs 5,000 crore in the Raniganj block in drilling 350 wells and producing nearly 0.9 million metric standard cubic metres (mmscd) of gas per day.
Chief executive officer (CEO) of EOGEPL, Pankaj Kalra, told PTI that another investment of Rs 2,000 crore will be made for drilling 200 more wells in the next 18 to 24 months.
“We are employing the latest technology in the existing wells to ramp up production from 0.9 mmscd to 1.3 mmscd which will be completed in a few months “, Kalra said.
Total CBM production from Ranigunj will touch around three mmscd when the additional wells become operational, Kalra added.
He said the company is currently contributing nearly 65 per cent to the country’s total CBM production, which is likely to go up to 90 per cent post drilling of the additional wells.
Kalra also said two shale gas wells, another form of unconventional hydrocarbon, will also be drilled at Raniganj in 2023 as a pilot project following which a detailed appraisal will be done.
The company is currently contributing Rs 150 crore to the state exchequer annually which is likely to go up to Rs 300 crore once production of CBM from Raniganj is ramped up.
The official also said that being an unconventional form of energy, China and Australia are giving support to CBM production in those countries by subsidising the sector to bring in more investors.
He said CBM has the potential to displace 10 to 30 per cent of the annual requirement of LNG imports in the near term thus reducing import bills.