Dart Energy may start drilling in 2 coal bed methane blocks in Nov

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on November 14, 2017

Applies for petroleum exploration licences

Australia headquartered Dart Energy expects to commence drilling in CBM (coal-bed-methane) blocks in Assam and Satpura (Madhya Pradesh) in November. Dart has won the blocks in the fourth round of bidding (CBM-IV) held last year.

According to a company official, Dart recently submitted its applications for petroleum exploration licences (PEL). Proposals have been submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests for clearances.

“Subject to availability of clearances we will start drilling operations in November,” an official said.

According to him, Dart is the first of the CBM-IV winners to have applied for PEL and environmental clearances.

Of the two blocks, Satpura is a recycled block previously relinquished by ONGC.

Dart sources, however, suggest that the block has high quality Gondwana coal reserve. Also, the presence of second degree gassy mines (2-10 cubic metre gas content per tonne of coal) in the region suggests that the block may be ideal for CBM exploration.

While Dart controls 80 per cent operating interest in Satpura, Tata Power has 20 per cent participatory interest in the block.

Assam block

In the Assam block, Dart holds 60 per cent operating interest and Oil India the rest. The block has hugely gassy tertiary coal of low (10 per cent) ash content. Apart from methane, this particular variety also has high sulphur content — which is corrosive agent — requiring desulphurisation for industrial use.

Dart previously relinquished its interest in three CBM blocks – Rajmahal in Jharkhand, Mand-Raigad in Chhattisgarh and Tatapani-Ramkola – in the country.

Apart from CBM, the company has also struck a 30:70 joint venture with Electrosteel Castings Ltd for degassification of Electrosteel's captive coal block in Jharia. Dart will commercially utilise the captured methane.

Published on June 21, 2011

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