CBM block dispute

Vol 15, PW 19 (05 Apr 12) News in Brief

India’s coal ministry wants to regain control of nine CBM blocks, surrendered by operators to the oil ministry.

But it seems the oil ministry is ready to handover only WD-CBM-2003/II or the Wardha block in Maharashtra. On March 19, DGH chief CBM coordinator SC Sarma wrote to oil ministry joint secretary Aramane Giridhar to say only the Wardha block could be returned to the coal ministry.

More, he told Giridhar that of the nine surrendered CBM blocks just three have had all paperwork for relinquishment completed: Wardha; the Satpura block or ST-CBM-2003/II in Madhya Pradesh; and the Barmer-Sanchor block or BS-(3)-CBM-2003/II in Rajasthan. All these blocks were relinquished by ONGC, but Satpura was awarded again in CBM-IV as block ST-CBM-2008/IV to a consortium of Arrow Energy (80%) and Tata Power Company (20%).

The DGH wants to retain Barmer-Sanchor, which it feels is ‘prospective’, given the presence of lignite deposits at depths of more than 600 metres.