Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has commercially initiated the coal bed methane (CBM) production from its Sohagpur blocks in Madhya Pradesh. Presently, CBM produced by the Mukesh Ambani-led company is being supplied for starting the functioning of the Shahdol Phulpur Pipeline (SHPPL).
CBM production in Sohagpur
CBM production from the Sohagpur fields started on 24th March 2017. In a company statement, RIL said that the production will be increased in coming 15 to 18 months. It further stated that this will increase the output and make RIL one of the biggest unconventional natural gas producers in India.
In 2001, the first round of CBM block bidding was conducted by the Government of India. During that time, RIL obtained the license to explore two CBM blocks located next to each other. These blocks were Sohagpur (West) and Sohagpur (East) extending up to an area of 995 square kilometers. In the first phase of development, RIL drilled over 200 wells that were connected to two gas gathering stations. In the next developmental phases, RIL will drill another 600 to 800 wells and establish the required infrastructure.
Reliance Gas Pipelines Limited (RGPL) is RIL’s completely owned subsidiary. It set up the SHPPL, which runs for 302 kilometers. The pipeline makes a connection for Sohagpur CBM fields between Shahdol and State-run Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL)’s Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HBJ) pipeline network at Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh. In a media release, RIL stated that the establishment of the new pipeline network enabled the CBM Gas fields to be connected to the Indian Gas Grid.
Government’s decision on CBM
RIL’s development came after the Cabinet recently decided to allow CBM producing companies to sell gas to its own subsidiaries. It also gave pricing and marketing freedom for CBM.
According to the Cabinet decision, the contractor has to establish a competitive and completely transparent process for CBM sale while revealing the market price for arm’s length sales. The contractor also needs to check that the best possible rates for gas are being quoted without any restrictive commercial practices.
In India, around 33 CBM blocks have been awarded, so far. Out of these, only four are operational. The four blocks result in a total production of nearly 1.17 million standard cubic meters per day, while the reserves in India are expected to have the capacity of around 92 trillion cubic feet.
The Indian Government is looking at ways to boost the production of CBM, which is an eco-friendly natural resource. Prior to the decision, CBM has remained trapped in coal beds.
Mukesh Ambani led RIL is the largest private sector corporation in India. It is also one of the leading exploration and production players in the country. Its upstream business includes exploration, appraisal, development, and production.
Apart from the Sohagpur CBM blocks, RIL has domestic blocks in Panna Mukta and Tapti (PMT), Mahanadi, Krishna Godavari, Gujarat Saurashtra, Cauvery Palar, and Cambay Basin.
RIL has commercially begun coal bed methane (CBM) production from its Sohagpur blocks in Madhya Pradesh on the 24th of March 2017.