Essar to submit shale gas exploration proposal to steering committee

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Kolkata, March 5 (IANS) Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Limited is planning to submit an exploration proposal for shale gas from the Raniganj East block in West Bengal to the steering committee of the block by the end of March, an official said in Kolkata on Monday.

With the completion of price discovery process for the coal-bed methane (CBM) gas produced from the Raniganj East block, the exploration company is also expecting to touch the revenue of Rs 600 crore in 2018-19, and also to double that in the next 2-3 years, the company official said.

“The block has shale gas potential of 7.7 tcf (trillion cubic feet), out of which recoverable is 1.5 tcf. The Simultaneous Exploitation Policy, where licensees for any hydrocarbons can exploit any hydrocarbon resources, is expected soon,” CEO Vilas Tawde told reporters here.

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“We are submitting the exploration proposal for shale gas to the steering committee of the (Raniganj East) block by end of March. The steering committee has representatives from the Petroleum Ministry, Directorate of Hydrocarbons, and also from operators,” added Tawde.

The company is currently producing over one million cubic meters of gas per day and has so far invested Rs 4,000 crore in its Raniganj project for the production of CBM.

It has so far drilled 350 wells for producing CBM and is expecting to drill another 150 wells in the next few years with an investment of Rs 900 crore to ramp up and balance its CBM production, he said.

In February, the company completed a price discovery process, as a part of early monetisation policy of CBM operators. The gas will be supplied to state-run GAIL (India) based on the three-month daily average price of Brent crude oil. As of now, the price is $8.08 million British thermal unit (mBtU), Tawde said.

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“With the successful process of price discovery, we are expecting to touch revenue of Rs 600 crore in the 2018-19 by selling around one 1 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic meter per day). Probably, with the increased production, we are expecting to double the saleable production of around two mmscmd in the next 2-3 years which will help us to increase our revenue to Rs 1,200 crore,” he said.



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