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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has given environment clearance to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd’s (ONGC) proposal for phase III development of Jharia Coal Bed Methane (CBM) block in Jharkhand.
As part of its phase III development programme, ONGC plans to drill 77 additional wells, install five gas collecting stations and lay interconnecting and transportation pipeline network for CBM gas production, collect, transport and sell.
“It is reported that no national park/wildlife sanctuary/biosphere reserves are located within 10 km radius of the block. It is also reported that all the proposed activities will be undertaken outside the forest area, primarily in agricultural lands. Water based mud to be used in drilling,” the approval letter of the ministry said.
Approximately 209 acre land would be required for the development of 77 wells five gas collection facilities in the block. The total project cost would be around Rs 1136 crores and the drilling wells are expected to have a depth of 1,200 meters.
The Jharia CBM block of ONGC was awarded to the company by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2002. While ONGC is the operator of the block, Coal India Ltd has a participative interest of 26 per cent. ONGC has already completed the phase-I (exploration) and phase II (pilot assessment, market survey and commitment) of the project.
India’s production of Coal Bed Methane (CBM), a clean energy source extracted from coal seams, grew more than 44 percent last financial year to around 565 million standard cubic metres (MMSCM) as compared to 393 MMSCM in 2015-2016. This comes as a major boost for the government’s efforts to cut down India’s import dependence for energy supply.
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