Great Eastern Energy Corp Ltd (GEECL) Thursday announced a potential of 3.51 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of in-place shale gas reserves in its Raniganj (South) coal-bed methane (CBM) block in West Bengal.
These reserves, certified by independent reserve engineers, Advanced Resources International, are in addition to 2.62 tcf of coal seam gas, or coal bed methane, in the block, the company's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Prashant Modi said.
The company plans to drill some pilot wells to test how much of the in-place shale gas reserves can be produced. Based on these so-called core and pilot wells, it will put an investment plan in place for exploiting the reserves.
It may take at least two years for the first shale gas production, he said.
ARI has estimated in-place shale resources at 1.4 Tcf (low) to 6.63 Tcf (high), while 3.51 tcf is the best-case scenario. At the high-end of the estimate, the total potential of the Raniganj (South) block is 9.25 Tcf (6.63 Tcf of shale and 2.62 Tcf of CBM resources), he said.
This has "an undiscounted value of USD 13.78 billion and a discounted value of USD 4.31 billion," he said.
GEECL currently produces 0.55 million standard cubic metres of coal gas (CBM) from 156 wells on the block. Peak output is envisaged at 2.5 mmscmd from 300 wells in 7-8 years, he said.
As much as 30 per cent of the shale reserves are recoverable, according to global practices.
Modi said the recent government move to allow exploration and production of all types of hydrocarbons including shale resources under the existing CBM contracts prompted the company to explore shale reseres in its block.
"We believe that the shale gas resources can be explored and developed cost-effectively in tandem with our successful ongoing CBM development programme through the sharing of surface and other infrastructure facilities. We are currently planning the initial exploration programme for exploiting shale in our block, and will make a further announcement in due course when we commence the same," he said.
The company plans to invest Rs 2,000 crore to complete drilling of the remaining 144 wells in the Raniganj (South) license area.
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