EOGEPL’s shale potential and CBM push to chart future growth

The Telegraph and Time of India reports talk about how Essar's Investments in Raniganj will not only create value for stakeholders, but will also drive India's CBM production, give a boost to the contributions to exchequer, and pave the way for a sustainable energy future.

14 Apr 2023

The Telegraph and Time of India reports talk about how Essar's Investments in Raniganj will not only create value for stakeholders, but will also drive India's CBM production, give a boost to the contributions to exchequer, and pave the way for a sustainable energy future. The article shares more details on the EOGEPL's plans, and excerpts from the publication's discussions with Mr Pankaj Kalra, CEO – Essar Exploration & Production Ltd.

State may get 300cr annual exchequer boost from Essar

Publication:     The Times of India,  14 April 2023

Kolkata: The West Bengal government is likely to get Rs 300crore annual exchequer boost from the CBM (coal bed methane) project of Essar Oil & Gas (EOGEPL) in two-three years down the line. The hydrocarbon outfit is currently contributing Rs 150 crore to the state exchequer as royalty and VAT (value added tax) from the CBM extracted from its field in Durgapur-Raniganj areas.

The CEO of EOGEPL, Pankaj Kalra, told TOI that it is currently producing 8 lakh standard cubic metre per day (SCMD) of gas contributing 65% to India's total CBM production and strive to achieve 1 million SCMD very soon. The other operational CBM players in the country are Reliance Industries and Great Eastern Energy.

EOGEPL has a recoverable reserve of one trillion cubic feet of CBM.

"If we gauge the scale, it is equivalent to serving around 1.3 lakh cars per day. This production would be achieved in the next four-five months," he added. The total taxi fleet of Kolkata taken together app cabs and yellow taxi is around 30,000.

However, Kalra pointed out that 80-85% of the production of Essar is going to national grid as the pipeline to Kolkata has not yet been completed. He indicated that once the gas pipeline to Kolkata is complete, a substantial part can be brought to the city. GAIL is executing the pipeline as part of the national gas grid.

According to him, due to non-completion of the pipeline, Essar had to cut down production earlier. It had 350 wells, which were built till 2017 at an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. Due to lack of demand it had to plug some wells. However, it is now starting drilling new wells and is planning 200-250 more in the next 18-24 months.

"We plan to invest another Rs 2,000 crore into the business to ramp up our production and contribute at least 5% of the total India's gas production. We plan to start our new drilling campaign in 18-24 months to take production to over 3million SCMD. We want to take gas in the energy mix from 6% currently to 15% by 2030," he added.

CBM will play a significant role in India and Essar will be the flag bearer. "We have the best R&D team and strive to enhance productivity on a day-to-day basis and aim to be the lowest cost producer in the world," Kalra said.

Source: The Times of India

Essar to start shale hunt in Bengal

Publication: The Telegraph, 14 April 2023

Essar Exploration and Production is going to drill two wells during this year in a step towards the development and production of shale gas from its Ranigunj field in Bengal

A team of technocrats from the company is now working in Houston, Texas, to finalise the plan to explore the field which is estimated to have a recoverable reserve of 1.6 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of shale gas

Essar, owned by the Ruia family, has mining leases over a 500 square kilometre area in Ranigunj. The company is now producing 0.9 mmscmd (million standard cubic metre per day) coal bed methane gas from the field, accounting for nearly two-third of India s CBM production

"We have tied up with technology partners who have experience working in China and the US, to extract more out of the shale gas and CBM reserves in the best possible ways. Our teams are now working on the next phase of development with them," Pankaj Kalra, CEO of Essar Exploration and Production Ltd, said

While the exploration wells for shale gas will provide an estimate of investment required to recover the green fuel, the company has finalised a Rs 1,500-crore plan to take CBM production to 3mmscmd. Compared to shale gas reserves, the recoverable reserve of CBM is estimated to be 1 TCF

The gas resource comes handy for the state of Bengal in two ways. It helps the local economy to transition towards cleaner fuel and combat climate change. Moreover, the company contributes about Rs 100 crore in royalty (10 per cent of the revenue) and Rs 50 crore in value added tax to the Bengal government annually. With production set to go up, the contribution to the exchequer is expected to multiply

Essar has drilled 350 wells after starting work in 2011 and invested Rs 5,000 crore, Kalra said. The management believes that it would be able to extract 1.4 mmscmd CBM from the existing wells by multiple technology interventions such as refracking. "With these initiatives, we believe the existing wells will progressively reach a higher level of production." Moreover, the company is planning to drill additional 230 odd wells which will give another 1.6mmscmd of gas

Out of this, about 200 wells will be drilled within a 130 square kilometre area which is already under production

Another 30 wells will be drilled in an unexplored area where CBM is estimated to be trapped in deeper levels (1500 meters). Essar plans to drill both vertical and horizontal wells, as being done in China. This phase will carry on for the next 18-24 months

Essar sells its entire production to GAIL, which markets the gas to the end consumers here. In the nine months ended December 31, 2022, it reported Rs 696 crore of revenue, up 113 per cent yearon-year and Rs 284 crore of net profit compared with Rs 11 crore of loss a year ago.

Source: The Telegraph