Great Eastern Energy Corp Ltd (GEECL), India's first producer of natural gas from coal seams, will invest about Rs 2,000 crore over the next three to four years to raise output, its CEO Prashant Modi said.
The planned capex will be for "drilling 144 new wells and laying internal pipelines" at the firm's flagship Raniganj (South) block in West Bengal, he said here.
GEECL, the first to start coal-bed methane (CBM) production in India in 2007, produces 0.5 million standard cubic metres of gas a day at the Raniganj block, he said.
"Production will rise with new wells," he said but did not give any estimate for future output.
The company has so far drilled 156 wells on the block which has gas reserves of 2.6 trillion cubic feet, he said.
The government has so far awarded 33 blocks for extracting CBM but only three have started production so far. While GEECL has been producing CBM for 10 years now, Essar Oil started output from another block in Raniganj and Reliance Industries (RIL) from its Sohagpur CBM blocks in Madhya Pradesh.
GEECL produces CBM from Raniganj (South) licence area, which covers 210 square kilometres, with 2.62 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in place.
Modi said the company had over 30 customers and saw its cash profit increase 331 per cent to USD 11 million at the fiscal year to March 31, 2018, on the back of increased sales and better price realisation.
The company's average sales last fiscal increased 23.4 per cent to 10.69 million standard cubic feet per day and average delivered sale price of gas rose to USD 10.90 per million British thermal unit (mmbtu) as compared to USD 10.07 mmbtu realised previous financial year.
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