Essar Energy to invest additional Rs 1,000 cr in Raniganj block

Durgapur: After having pumped in Rs 3,300 crore cumulative investment in the Coalbed methane (CBM) project at the Raniganj (East) block in West Bengal, Essar Energy will invest additional Rs 1,000 crore in the project, a company official said on Wednesday. This would be done to ramp up CBM production to 3 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd). "We have crossed one mscmd production milestone. The company has definitive plans to ramp up CBM production to 2 mscmd by March 2017A and production will reach a plateau of 3 mscmd by mid 2017-18," said company's Chief Executive Officer - Exploration & Production, Manish Maheshwari. "We have invested Rs 3,300 crore till date and additional Rs 1,000 crore will be invested to ramp up production 3 mscmd," he said. He said over the entire life of the project the west Bengal government could fetch an estimated royalty of Rs 2,500 crore calculated at the prevailing price of the gas. The Raniganj (East) block has sizeable CBM reserves with 25-30 years of field life.  The 2016 reserve report from Netherland Sewell & Associates, Inc. (NSAI), US, have certified the proven, probable and possible gross CBM reserves in the Raniganj (East) block at 1.09 TCF.  The Block is assessed to have additional resources in the 'contingent' category of around 270 BCF. The company commenced supply of CBM, presently at around 200,000 scmd, for pre-commissioning activities to Matix Fertilisers,an anchor customer of the company. Besides Raniganj, it has high quality acreages of around 2700 sq.kms. for CBM exploration and production in India spread across Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Aggregated across these assets, the gas-initial-in-place have been estimated to be in excess of 6 TCF, he said. A study undertaken with the support of the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), by an independent US firm with expertise in shale, have made a preliminary assessment of original in-place shale gas resources of around 8 TCF underneath the CBM play in Raniganj block, the company said. "We tap the untapped hydrocarbons seated in unconventional reservoirs - be it cbm, shale or tight reservoirs, and produce them in a safe, responsible manner and contribute towards India's energy security," said Maheshwari.  On the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), announced by the Government in March 2016, he said it is apposite and a big help to boost domestic production. Of the many dimensions of HELP, the Uniform Licensing Policy allows an operator to explore for and produce all types of hydrocarbons from an acreage.  Discovered Small Fields (DSF) being offered by the government, bidding for which closes end of October 2016, present a unique opportunity to the industry players to hunt for exploration upside whilst monetising the existing discoveries, he said.