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COALBED METHANE POLICY, 1997

Why in news?

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has brought out following policies/notifications after Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Policy 1997:

  • Policy for extension of exploration phases for exploration and production under CBM contracts in 2007.
  • Guidelines for pricing and commercial utilization of CBM in 2011.
  • Notification for grant of right to exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane to Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries from all coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal in 2015.
  • Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy was introduced in 2016 wherein all types of hydrocarbon resources, both conventional and unconventional can be explored and exploited.
  • Policy framework for Early Monetisation of CBM in 2017.
  • Notification for consolidated terms and conditions for grant of right to exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane to Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries from all coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal in 2018.
  • A policy framework for Exploration and exploitation of Unconventional hydrocarbons in existing acreages under existing Production Sharing Contracts, CBM contracts and Nomination fields was introduced in 2018.
  • A policy framework to promote and incentivize enhanced recovery methods for Oil and Gas was notified by the Government in 2018.

Coal bed methane

Coal Bed Methane (CBM) is an unconventional form of natural gas found in coal deposits or coal seams. CMB is formed during the process of coalification, the transformation of plant material into coal

Where is coalbed methane found

Coalbed methane is associated with coal deposits, and is found in coal seams. In the past, the gas was the cause of numerous explosions in underground mines. More recently, the gas has been vented to the surface from underground mines.

Gas contained in coal bed methane is mainly methane and trace quantities of ethane, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and few other gases. Intrinsic properties of coal as found in nature determine the amount of gas that can be recovered

What is a sweet gas?

Sweet Gas is a Natural gas that does not contain hydrogen sulfide [H2S]. The gas may also not contain any quantities of carbon dioxide. The composition of the gas determines whether it is sweet or sour. Sweet Gas in its purest form can be used with very little refining.

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