• Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas is generated during the coal formation process, part of which is stored in the coal seams generally called Coalbed Methane (CBM). Methane recognize as mining hazard and to bring down the methane concentration within safety limits, large quantity of air is injected in the mine and vented out for safety of mine and personnel working underground.
  • With the advancement in recovery and utilization techniques, Coalbed Methane has established itself as a source of clean energy possesses an energy value which if tapped prior to coal mining can have multi-faceted advantages. Indian Coalfields specially the Damodar valley Coalfields have high vertical seam density with matured quality of coal where seams are having moderate to high gas content These Coalfields are having potential for the development of CBM.
  • The recovery of methane from coal seam particularly in case of deeper mine is often a safety requirement. It is well known fact that in course of time the mining activities would shift to the deeper area from present’s shallower depth therefore extraction of methane from the working coalmine and from future coal mining areas should be considered.
  • During detailed coal exploration, generation of CBM specific data is also being done to create coalfield wise CBM specific database which will help in taking judicious techno-economic decision with less investment risk.

Development of CBM/CMM in CIL mining leasehold area:

Govt. of India in May 2018, in partial modification of CBM policy 1997, notified the consolidated terms and conditions for grant of exploration and exploitation rights to Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries from coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal.

CMPDI is the Principal Implementing Agency (PIA) for Development of CBM in CIL leasehold areas. Three CBM blocks in CIL leasehold areas have been delineated in Jharia Coalfield, Raniganj Coalfield and Sohagpur Coalfield.

a) Jharia Coalfield: A 26.5 Sq. Km CBM block has been delineated in BCCL mining leasehold area for commercial development of CBM which has been awarded to M/S PEPL through global bidding on basis of revenue sharing agreement with envisaged project life of 30 Years. The preliminary Gas-In-Place is estimated to be 25 BCM approx.

Present Status: Revenue Sharing Contract (RSC) has been signed between BCCL & M/s Prabha Energy Private Limited (PEPL) on 20th Sep, 2021 for extraction of CBM from Jharia CBM Block-I.

b) Raniganj Coalfield: A 33 Sq. km. CBM block has been delineated in ECL mining leasehold area with estimated Gas-In-Place of 2.2 BCM.
Present Status: Proposed to develop Raniganj CBM Block with ONGC as a contiguous block of ONGC-CIL JV.

c) Sohagpur Coalfield: A CBM Block of approx. 50 Sq Km has been delineated in Sohagpur Coalfield under SECL mining leasehold area. The estimated resource of this CBM Block is 0.5 BCM.

Present Status: efforts are being made to develop this block through CBM Developer to be selected by Global bidding.

To further expand the scope of development of CBM in CIL areas, further studies for Assessment of CBM potentiality in command areas of subsidiaries of Coal India Limited are being undertaken to delineate CBM blocks in and other regions within Damodar Valley Basin.

ONGC-CIL JV (ONGC-74%; CIL: 26%):
• Two CBM Blocks-Jharia CBM Block & Raniganj North CBM Block are allotted to ONGC-CIL JV by GoI on nomination basis.
• Jharia CBM Block is under development Phase. Incidental CBM is being produced from Jharia CBM Block (around 4,000 to 7500 SCMD)
• Development activities are to be initiated in Raniganj North CBM Block