India's Essar Oil Ltd. emerged as the country's largest unconventional gas player as its Raniganj (East) Block in West Bengal crossed an important milestone when it became the first local coal bed methane (CBM) asset to produce 35.3 million standard cubic per day (MMscf/d) or 1 million standard cubic meters per day (MMscf/m).
The company expected peak production from the Raniganj (East) Block to reach 105.9 MMscf/d (3 MMscf/d). According to the 2016 NSAI (Netherland Sewell & Associates, Inc.) report, the proven, probable and possible gross CBM reserves in the block is around 1.09 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), while contingent resources was estimated at around 270 billion cubic feet (Bcf).
“We married talent with technology to transform reserves to production. In the last 12 months, the average well productivity has more than doubled, the gas break-out time in new wells has reduced to days instead of months, and the workover cycle has reduced to a fifth. Our collaborative relationship with international service providers has resulted in win-win solutions,” Essar Oil CEO for Exploration and Production Manish Maheshwari said in the press release.
Essar Oil is supplying 5.29 MMscf/d (150,000 scm/d) of CBM gas to Matix Fertilisers for its pre-commissioning activities, while industrial consumers in the catchment area of Durgapur also received the fuel from the company.
“There are tremendous opportunities in the domestic unconventional hydrocarbon sector. The Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), which was announced by the Government in March 2016, recognizes this potential in contributing towards national energy security,” Maheshwari added.
Essar Oil revealed that a U.S. Trade & Development Agency-supported study by an independent U.S. firm with expertise in shale has assessed that the original in-place shale gas resources in the Raniganj (East) Block is estimated at around 8 Tcf.
In February, Essar Oil awarded Greka Drilling Ltd. a $8 million one year contract for the provision of drilling services for its Raniganj (East) Block. Greka deploys two semi-automated GD75 rigs for the drilling operations, which commenced May 8 and June 5, respectively.
Excluding its Raniganj (East) Block, Essar Oil's CBM portfolio in India includes more than 1,042 square miles of acreage.
The Indian government has been working to increase the country's energy supply, whether domestic and foreign, to meet rising consumption in the South Asian nation. India's energy demand reached 700.5 million tons of oil equivalent (MMtoe) last year, up 36 percent from 515.2 MMtoe in 2008, figures released recently by BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 indicated.
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