Coal bed methane (CBM) focus for ONGC

Vol 3, PW 25 (19 Jan 00) News in Brief

Discussions are on at ONGC over the merits of inviting a joint venture partner to pursue coal bed methane (CBM) projects in India.

A senior ONGC official (who heads the CBM programme from Calcutta) tells Petrowatch the corporation is set to begin intensive exploration this year in the Jharia (West Bengal) and Raniganj (Bihar) areas of eastern India. We are moving into Phase II of our exploration programme, he said.

Phase I generated extensive data and we feel we have gained enough experience and expertise to go ahead with Phase II. ONGC says tests prove that Jharia and Raniganj hold significant deposits of CBM.

There are no budget constraints, he adds, We are open to the idea of a joint venture. At Jharia, ONGC plans three appraisal wells.

Data from earlier drilling is being analysed to ascertain the areas viability.