New Delhi: The production of coal bed methane from 12 active blocks is projected at 844 Million Standard Cubic Meters (MMSCM) in the current fiscal and 1,133 MSCM in the next financial year, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. Of the 12 Coal Bed Methane (CBM) blocks active at present, five are in the production phase, three in the development phase and four under the exploration phase.
CBM is an unconventional form of natural gas found in coal deposits or coal seams.
Replying to a query in Lok Sabha, coal minister Pralhad Joshi said, "At present, 12 CBM blocks are active, 5 of which are in the production phase, 3 in the development phase and 4 blocks (awarded during SCBM-21) are under the exploration phase."
The Centre formulated a CBM policy in 1997 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to act in a cooperative manner for the development of CBM.
As per the policy, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) became the administrative ministry and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) was made the nodal agency for the development of CBM in the country.
MoPNG in consultation with the Ministry of Coal has identified and offered CBM blocks from coal-bearing areas. In a partial modification of CBM policy in 2018, the Centre granted the exploration and exploitation rights of CBM to Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries from coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal. Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output.