Leading coal-bed methane gas producer Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited (GEECL) on Thursday said it is still waiting for approvals to begin shale gas exploration in West Bengal's Ranigunj.
The company had announced an investment of USD 2 billion over the next 10 years in shale gas extraction project.
"GEECL is in the process of obtaining final approvals and expects to commence initial shale gas exploration work by drilling core wells soon," the company said.
GEECL's CBM block may hold as much as 6.63 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of shale gas resources, of which about 1.7 Tcf can be recovered, company officials said.
Speaking on the coal-bed methane, the officials said all the pumps were replaced by June 2019, leading to a 17 per cent increase in average production to 16.60 mmscfd in the second half of October 2019.
According to GEECL officials, the company has approached the West Bengal government to amend its existing mining leases (MLs), so that it can start production of shale gas from its blocks in the Raniganj area.
Another company, Essar had also shown interest for coal-bed methane in the state and was keen in shale gas exploration.
GAIL's upcoming "Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Pipeline" is expected to be operational by December 2020 and this will provide the access to the huge markets of Kolkata and districts in West Bengal, the officials said.
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