GEECL to kick off Indian shale gas campaign before March 2023: interview
Indian coalbed methane (CBM) producer GEECL is likely to start drilling for shale gas in its Raniganj (South) concession in the state of West Bengal before March 2023, the company’s CEO Prashant Modi tells NGW.
“We will attempt to start with some core wells within this financial year," he says. Indian financial year runs from April 1 to March 31. The London-listed company is preparing to launch a new shale exploration programme after executing an amendment to its petroleum mining lease (PML).
Modi did not say how many wells will be drilled. Raniganj (South) is connected through a dedicated 77.62 km pipeline to industrial customers in the Asansol-Durgapur region, via GEECL’s gas gathering station.
In order to encourage greater development, the Indian government changed the rules in 2018 to permit the exploration and production of all types of hydrocarbons including shale gas under existing CBM contracts.
Talking about the CBM operations, Modi said that GEECL is at present operating 150 CBM wells and six drilled but uncompleted wells at the block.
Modi said that the government has been supportive of the CBM industry in India. “The government has been very proactive and progressive and continues to be so. We feel they will further enhance ease of doing business,” he added.