GLOBAL CBM SCENARIO WITH
SPECIAL REFERENCE TO INDIA
What is CBM?
CBM refers to a form of natural gas, composed dominantly of methane which is trapped inside the
coal beds worldwide.
Coal bed methane can be found almost anywhere there is coal.
It was considered a dangerous nuisance in the mining industry.
It has potential as an abundant clean energy supply to help replace other diminishing hydrocarbon
Over the past few decades Coal bed methane (CBM) has proved to be a major unconventional
resource in the oil and gas industry.
History Of Coal Bed Methane
In history of mining, coal bed methane has considered to be one of the
greatest dangers to deep coal mining.
The methane gas was intentionally vented to prevent accidental
explosions or asphyxiation, so commercial extraction of coal bed
methane was economically unfeasible.
They used Canary in a coal mine for detection of methane gas in mines.
Now the miners are using Hand held detectors, Flame Safety Lamp,
Coal bed methane production now became practical because of modern
The first attempts to isolate and pipe gas from a coal mine were occurred
in Great Britain as early as 1733. 3
Extracting coal bed methane (CBM) from underground coal seams like a gift to a world in need of
clean energy supplies.
Today’s oil and gas industry recognizes the value of this unconventional resource, CBM exploration and
development, once uniquely North American, are now under way on a global scale.
In recent years, CBM projects have rapidly proliferated.
Australia had no CBM production in 1995, but in 2008, 4 billion m3 [141 Bcf] was extracted from its
extensive underground coal reserves.
China had in excess of 1.4 million m3[49 Bcf] of CBM production in 2006.
These amounts are small compared with US production in 2007—61 billion m3 [2.15 Tcf], more than
10% of the US domestic natural gas supply
Formation of CBM
Biogenic methane is produced by anaerobic bacteria in the early stage of
Thermo-genic methane is mainly during coalification at temperatures of
120 – 150° C.
CBM don’t migrate from the source rock into the reservoir rock.
Coal is the source rock and the reservoir rock.
The methane does not occur as free gas in the pore space of coal (only 1 –
Coal can store around 6 to 7 times more methane than the equivalent
volume of rock in a conventional reservoir.
Critical Geological Parameters
Thick, laterally continuous coal seams with adequate maturity
High In place Coal Reserves
Suitable depth (>300 m)
High Gas Content of Coal
High permeability of Coal
Important Needs For Increased CBM Production
Mapping coal bed methane reservoirs
Identifying factors that influence reservoir heterogeneity and permeability
Understanding hydrologic and geologic factors that control storage and release of methane in coal
Obtaining critical reservoir parameters that control production
Calculating reserves and making long-term production forecasts
How is coal bed methane produced?
CBM is produced by removing water pressure which holds
CBM in place.
Methane that was held in place by water pressure tends to
follow the water as it is pumped to the surface, where it is
captured and transported through pipelines.
Fracking fluids are often first injected into the coal bed to break
up the coal, making it easier for the water and gas to flow to the
Injection of water under high pressure in
a packed-off borehole section.
Fracturing the rock perpendicular to the
direction of the minimum principal
India’s Energy Scenario
India is one of the fastest growing economies
The GDP growth is over 5%, likely to increase to over 8% in near future
This GDP growth is required to eradicate poverty and meet country’s human development goal
To sustain such growth 3/4 fold increase in primary energy requirement envisaged
Integrated Energy Policy Document indicates total energy requirement of the country will increase
from a current level of about 500 MTON to 2000 MTON by 2031-32.
Efforts are on to utilize all possible energy resource- renewable, non-renewable, coal based
additional resource etc to meet this gigantic target.
Coal: Reliable Source for Energy Security in India
Coal is the main source of energy in India.
At present it meets about 55% of the primary energy requirement of the country.
Studies indicate that this situation is likely to continue in the foreseeable future
To meet the projected demand of coal (2 BT by 2031-32), efforts are on to:
1) Increase the proved resource base
2) New coal extraction technologies
Indian CBM Reserves
India has substantial coal reserves and most are suitable for CBM development.
India having the fourth largest proven coal reserves in the world, holds significant prospects for
exploration and exploitation of CBM.
The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons(DGH) of India estimates the deposits in major coal
fields (in twelve states of India covering an area of 35,400 km2) contain approximately 4.6 TCM
India has CBM potential of around 70 TCF gas which can supplement the declining conventional
gas production and also cater to the growing demands of the country.
Now, Indian gas production is around 30% short of gas it requires.
Indian CBM Reserves..
Coal Resources In India
Source : Advanced Resources International Inc.
State Wise Resources In India
Source : DGH- Official website
CBM Share On Natural Gas Reserve In India
Source: Energy Statistics_2013 19
Significance Of CBM In Indian Energy Basket
Any country with significant coal resources, large populations and, hence, high energy demand,
offers major opportunities for CBM development, such as India and China
Currently, India is the world’s 5th largest energy consumer accounting for about 4.1% of the world’s
total annual energy consumption.
Currently Coal is the primary source of Energy meeting 55 % of the country’s energy requirement.
However as the cheaper and cleaner fuel natural gas is widely accepted and consumption of the
natural gas since last two decades in India is increased rapidly.
According to the McKinsey, by 2015 Indian gas market is likely to be as large as Japan which is
currently the largest consumer of LNG in Asian region.
As per BP statistical review 2010, the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket is expected to
reach 20% by 2025 from current 10%. 20
Indian Energy Basket
(BP Statistical review of world energy )
Gap Between Demand & Supply Of Gas In India
Source : MoP&G & Industry Reports FY14e : Financial Year 2014 Estimated
Significance Of CBM In Indian Energy Basket..
The hydrocarbon resources of India are limited and it needs to diversify and explore energy
resources, India is striving for indigenous natural gas because of major declination of KG basin
output along with inclination of other domestic wells.
According to British Petroleum’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2014, India’s gas production
dropped by 16.3 per cent in 2013 and has fallen by 33.8 per cent since 2010, due to ambiguity in
gas pricing policy and Indian companies inability to boost gas production.
In this scenario, if India can explore and exploit CBM then it will boost the Indian economy with
the reduction of dependency for natural gas on foreign countries
Moreover, CBM extraction also potentially offers the opportunity of earning carbon credits under
Clean Development Mechanism of Kyoto Protocol, being an environmentally friendly fuel.
So Coal bed methane will clearly emerge as the one of the viable and clean routes to India’s energy
CBM- Govt. Policy
Government is trying to attract more and more private as well as foreign players in
CBM exploration program.
Some of the attractive terms in CBM contracts as per DGH are:
• No participating interest of the Government.
• No upfront payment.
• No signature bonus.
• Exemption from payment of customs duty on imports of equipment's required for
• Walkout option at the end of Phase-I & II.
• Freedom to sell gas in the domestic market.
• Provision of fiscal stability.
• Seven years tax holiday.
Current Scenario In India
• India began awarding coal bed methane (CBM) blocks for exploration in 2001, although it has taken more than a
decade to begin producing at these fields.
• The Indian Ministry of Oil partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and ONGC to conduct a resource
assessment and estimates anywhere between 9 and 92 Tcf of CBM resources both onshore and offshore India.
• Foreign companies have largely been absent from CBM production, leaving domestic Indian companies
struggling to attract enough expertise and technology to develop these resources.
• Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEEC) has developed the Raniganj block in West Bengal, with an estimated 1
Tcf of gas potential.
• Essar Oil and RIL have also been developing blocks in Bengal, although there has not been any significant
commercial production. Total CBM production in 2013 amounted to about 5.8 Bcf.
• Progress in CBM in the country has been steadily improving with supporting infrastructure being developed.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Essar Energy 25
Award Of Blocks Under CBM I-III Bidding Round
The Government of India has awarded 26 CBM blocks in Jharkhand (6),
Madhya Pradesh(5), Andhra Pradesh (2), Chhattisgarh (3),Maharashtra (1),
Rajasthan (4), Gujarat (1) and West Bengal (4) in different coalfields of
India under CBM-I to III.
Exploration activities have established significant finds in eastern and
Commercial production of CBM has commenced from July 2007.
Source: Indian Minerals Yearbook 2011
Award Of Blocks Under CBM - IV Bidding Round
The awarded blocks covering an area of 3727 sq.km. are located in the states of Assam (1), Jharkhand
(1), Orissa (2), Madhya Pradesh (1), Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh (1) and Tamil Nadu (1).
The estimated CBM resources of these 7 Blocks is about 330 BCM with expected production potential
of 9 MMSCMD
Source: Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) 28
Enhanced CBM Techniques
• Enhanced coal bed methane recovery is a method of producing additional coal bed methane from a source
rock, similar to enhanced oil recovery applied to oil fields.
• Carbon dioxide (CO2) injected into a bituminous coal bed would occupy pore space and also adsorb onto
the carbon in the coal at approximately twice the rate of methane (CH4), allowing for potential enhanced gas
• This technique may be used in conjunction with carbon capture and storage in mitigation of global
warming where the carbon dioxide that is sequestered is captured from the output of fossil fuel power plants.
Usage Of CBM
Power Generation: Lower capex & higher operational efficiency
Auto Fuel: Compressed Natural Gas(CNG)
Fertilizer: As feed stock for urea manufacture & captive power
Steel Manufacturing: Better quality product at lower capital costs
Fuel for Industries : Economical fuel for cement plants, refractory & steel rolling
Other uses: Domestic and Industrial supplies
Advantage Of CBM
Methane is a clean fuel and has distinct advantage over coal on environmental and
Methane recovered from coal mines reduces green house gas emission and also
substitutes for fuel.
De-methanisation of coal seams prior to mining increases mine safety and improves
Taking out methane from coal reduces mining hazards. Many mine accidents are due to
the methane gas.
CBM extraction does not affect the physical and chemical properties of coal.
Reservoirs are at much shallower depth.
Future Of CBM
In the future the CBM industry may take an entirely new direction, becoming an essential player in
A number of enhanced coal bed methane (ECBM) projects have investigated unminable coal seams
and depleted CBM fields as candidates for CO2 sequestration.
The organic materials that make up coals generally have a stronger affinity for CO2 than for methane.
In a process similar to that used for secondary oil recovery, CO2 is pumped into a coal seam and is
adsorbed by the coal while displacing and liberating methane.
ECBM projects offer the opportunity of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and
simultaneously increasing natural gas supplies.
The studies have progressed from the data-gathering and analysis phase to implementation, and the
results have been encouraging
CBM is a global resource, poised to become a major contributor of clean, abundant
New technologies and techniques have not yet removed the “unconventional resource”
label from CBM, but they have created an atmosphere in which producing gas from coal
is a global reality.
So from hazard to environmental challenge to energy resource – that is how the
perception of gas contained in coal beds has evolved.