Prashant Modi, CEO of Great Eastern Energy, says that the government’s policy on coal bed methane is quite encouraging in its simplicity, based primarily on royalty contracts. However, Modi believes that more initiatives will be needed in order to accelerate the pace of production of CBM.
Some of the current policies which, Modi says, are applicable to CBM are almost exactly the same as those for traditional oil and gas, in that they are purely theoretical. Because of this, Prashant Modi says that what really need to be done is to use the practices from CBM producers in Australia, Canada and the USA as examples, and alter the existing CBM policies in India so that they reflect these countries’ policies, which have already proven to be successful.
Overall though, Prashant Modi says that he is relatively happy with the government’s CBM policies, and its enthusiasm for this energy source. Once CBM production is in full swing, Modi days, it will not only serve as a cleaner source of energy for India, but will also make the process of mining safer, as CBM production obviously draws the methane out of the mines. In China, several thousand people die each, as the result of explosions caused by methane gas, despite expensive ventilation systems being used in the mines. These ventilation systems, Prashant Modi says, are also supplemented with a degasification system, made up of gas pipelines and boreholes, all of which could be eliminated if CBM production were carried out before mining.
There are, according to Prashant Modi, two main benefits to carrying out CBM before mining; firstly, as mentioned previously, there will be little or no risk of explosions and subsequent fatalities. Secondly, when methane escapes into the atmosphere during mining, in its raw state, it is approximately twenty times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. However, if this methane is extracted before mining is carried out, the gas will not enter the atmosphere and will instead be manufactured and used as a clean fuel, thus preventing environmental pollution.