KOLKATA (miningweekly.com) – India’s Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited (GEECL) will invest an estimated $2-billion to develop shale gas resources at its coal blocks at Raniganj, in the eastern state of West Bengal.
According to a statement issued on Friday, GEECL expected to start initial shale gas exploration drilling of core wells during the second half of the next financial year and, depending on results from the core wells, the company would start a number of pilot wells.
“Based on further results obtained and analysed from the pilot production wells, the total investment envisaged for the full development of shale resources in our block could be in the region of $2-billion,” the statement added.
Sources said that subject to successful exploration, the total $2-billion investment would be spread over the next ten years.
Earlier this month, GEECL, an integrated producer of coalbed methane (CBM), established shale gas reserves as its existing Raniganj coal assets.
Announcing the discovery, the company had said that it was able to establish a certified potential of 3.51-trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas at its existing CBM blocks and that the reserves had been certified by independent engineers, Advanced Resources International. This was in addition to the 2.61 tcf of CBM already under exploitation by GEECL.
GEECL currently produces about 0.55 standard cubic meters of CBM from 155 wells across its Raniganj blocks and is aiming to ramp it up to 2.5-million standard cubic meters from 500 wells over the next seven years.