New Delhi, Dec 19: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Thursday allowed state miner Coal India (CIL) to explore coal bed methane (CBM) in its existing mines.
Announcing the CCEA decision, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told mediapersons here: “Yes, it is approved.”
The decision breaks the impasse between the petroleum and coal ministries on the issue that stems from the lack of a policy for simultaneous mining of coal and CBM.
Thus the existing CBM policy prohibits mining firms from extracting CBM during mining while it allows the petroleum ministry to auction CBM blocks.
The oil ministry has till now auctioned 30 CBM blocks in four bidding rounds. Three others have been allocated on nomination basis.
According to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), India has CBM reserves of about 4.6 trillion cubic metres.
Currently, three CBM blocks are producing around 0.15 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd). This is likely to touch 7.4 mscmd by 2013, according to the DGH. In its estimation India’s resources are around 4.6 trillion cubic meters.