Companies

We are committed to the Indian market: Dart Energy

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on May 04, 2012

Mr Sudhansu Adhikary, Country Manager India, Dart Energy.

From an overall perspective, the prospect for coal bed methane in India is sufficiently attractive that we have made a long-term commitment to being in the Indian market. At this stage, we are the only foreign operator active in this sector — Sudhansu Adhikary, Country Manager India, Dart Energy.





Dart Energy is a prominent player in global coal bed methane (CBM) sector. CBM is a low pressure methane gas, extracted by fracturing coal seams.

In an interview to Business Line, Mr Sudhansu Adhikary, Country Manager India, explains the company's India plans.



Dart Energy is focused on coal bed methane (CBM) extraction globally. How do you rate the CBM prospect in India?



Dart Energy has more than 50 CBM and shale gas assets in India, Australia, China, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and Belgium.

In India, we commenced activity in 2006, as Arrow Energy International. We obtained three blocks in the CBM III bidding round. We secured two additional blocks in the CBM IV bidding round in 2010. From an overall perspective, the CBM prospect in India is sufficiently attractive that we have made a long-term commitment to being in the Indian market. At this stage, we are the only foreign operator active in the Indian CBM sector.

You have relinquished the three blocks awarded in CBM III round. What's the reason behind this dry run?



At one block we were confronted extreme hostility from the local tribal community. At the other two, technical results showed insufficient gas for a commercial CBM project.

Incidentally, in one block our pilot wells did show, for the first time in India, a potential oil flow associated with the CBM well. However, we could not continue exploration for oil as it is not permitted according to the CBM Contract.



You entered into a technical association tie-up with ONGC in CBM. Is that still the case?



In January 2009, Dart Energy and ONGC signed an MoU for co-operation on CBM. Since then, we have worked with ONGC's technical teams on geological interpretation and selection of best technology in different coal basins. We believe, we have demonstrated ourselves to be competent, committed and reliable partners.



Are you one of the suitors for a farm-in to ONGC's CBM blocks?



Yes, we responded to a request for an expression of interest. CBM is our specific area of expertise and we believe that we can complement ONGC in development of its CBM blocks in a fast and cost-effective manner. Our objective is to work with ONGC, to bring our strong technical expertise to the table.



Is there any Chinese ownership in Dart Energy?



In a complex corporate transaction in Australia about two years ago, Arrow Energy was split into two parts. One part, which owned only assets in Australia, was acquired by a consortium of Shell and Petrochina, which is presumably where the mistaken concept of a “China link” comes from.

The other part, which includes all our Indian assets, was renamed as Dart Energy, and listed on the ASX. Dart is also a part of the ASX200 Index. A review of Australian regulatory data will confirm that Dart does not have any Chinese shareholding.

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Published on May 04, 2012
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