Myth and reality of Reliance's CBM آ‘strikeآ’

Vol 7, PW 7 (18 Jun 03) Exploration & Production

GETTING USEFUL E&P information from Reliance is like squeezing blood from stone.

Reliance clearly believes that no information is good information! Yet this doesn't seem to have affected the flow of news stories in the mainstream press painting the company's E&P activity in glorious colours. For instance, a widely reported news item on 6th June that Reliance has struck coal bed methane with a production potential of between 7m-10m cm/d in Sohagpur East and Sohagpur West blocks of Madhya Pradesh.

Is this true Sadly not, say experts familiar with the area. "Not a single well has been drilled by Reliance on either block," says our source.

"Reliance has yet to award drilling contracts though bids were received two or three months ago." If so, how has Reliance so confidently arrived at these promising figures Purely by an "over-optimistic" assumption of reserves, we are told. Put together, Sohagpur East and Sohagpur West blocks have 995-sq km area.

Assume a coal density of 1.5 gms per cubic centimetre, a coal seam thickness of between eight to nine metres and gas content of between nine and eleven cubic metres per tonne. Multiply each of these quantities by the other and you get a figure of between 107.5 and 147.7bn cm in place CBM reserves in both blocks together.

From either of these reserves figures assume 50% gas recovery to get recoverable reserves of between 53.75 and 73.85bn cm. To arrive at the daily production potential, divide each of these recoverable reserves figures by 365 days and 20 years (production profile) to get the magic range of between 7m to 10m cm/d.

Contacted by PETROWATCH, Reliance could do little better than confirm that, "Work is in progress. We will make a statement at the appropriate time.