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Indian ministries clash over private hand in CBM exploration

25th November 2013

India’s ministry of coal turns down oil ministry’s proposal to let private players explore coal-bed methane with Coal India at its existing mines

Indian ministries clash over private hand in CBM exploration
India holds esimated CBM reserves of around 4.6 trillion cubic meters

India’s ministry of coal has ruled out the proposal from the petroleum and natural gas ministry to allow private entities to explore and develop coal-bed methane (CBM) at Coal India’s mines, The Hindu Business Line reported.


“The proposal to allow private companies to take out CBM in Coal India blocks was floated by the petroleum ministry twice in the past one and half years. But, the coal ministry has objected to it, as it is not comfortable allowing private players to foray into Coal India’s mines,” The Hindu Business Line quoted a government official as saying.


India holds the world’s third largest coal reserves and is the fourth top coal producer. As a result, huge potential exists for the commercial recovery of CBM, with estimated reserves of around 4.6 trillion cubic meters.


With the coal and oil ministries failing to reach a consensus, the only option left is to allow Coal India to extract CBM. However, the public sector miner has no experience in gas exploration and will likely have to outsource the work to private players, according to the government official added.