The board of directors of ONGC has approved the investment in exploration and development of coal bed methane (CBM) in six blocks in Jharkhand and West Bengal, said a company press release.
"With the formal board approval, ONGC has started the countdown for the 1st commercial production of CBM gas in India. The projected schedule for production is June 2007.
An estimated peak production of 7.84 lakh cubic metres of gas per day is being targeted from the proposed development wells, the release said.
Out of the projected expenditure, Rs 557 crore has been earmarked for the development of early CBM production in central Parbatpur area of Jharia block.
An expenditure of Rs 392 crore has been approved for drilling, completion and testing of 22 pilot wells in Jharia, Bokaro and north Karanpura CBM blocks, with completion schedule of 31 months, from the date of award of tender.
The Jharia CBM block is located within Jharia coalfield, around 25-km east of Bokaro steel city. The total area of Jharia block is 84.5 sq kms, out of which the Parbatpur area comprises of 18 sq kms, and the area under the present production scheme is 6 sq kms.
ONGC would deploy advanced drilling technology - horizontal-inseam-multilateral drilling technique for the first time in India, after its proven success by CBM operators in Australia and USA.
ONGC has a 74% stake in Jharia block, while Coal India Ltd has the remaining 26%.