The well is expected to provide data for the appraisal of the methane resources which are known to lie in the Fiume Bruna coal basin north of the town of Grosseto in central Italy.
The planned project is based on producing gas from a six meter thick coal seam. Past mining of the coal was limited to shallow depths, and was ultimately halted due to the generation of abundant methane in the deeper shafts.
IRG Technical Director Roberto Bencini said: "While the production of coal bed methane is now well-established in North America and elsewhere, this will be the first well associated with coal bed methane in Italy. It will be valuable for planning our next steps in appraising the commercial potential of the Fiume Bruna license."
Drilling is expected to take around two weeks, with results due over the following months. The coal is expected at a depth of around 330 meters.
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