GEECL gets nod for shale gas exploration in Bengal

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    Kolkata, Jun 23 (PTI) The West Bengal government on Thursday said it has executed a lease agreement for exploration and mining of shale gas with Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd (GEECL).
    The agreement, which was signed on Wednesday, will enable mining of shale gas in GEECL’s existing coal block at Raniganj area in Paschim Burdwan, the state government said in an official release.
    “It is expected that up to 6.63 TCF (trillion cubic feet) shale gas will be excavated in GEECL’s Raniganj block. It will bring in an investment of Rs 15,000 crore, and create further ancillary industries and generate thousands of new jobs for the local youth,” the release said.
    GEECL MD & CEO Prashant Modi said the company has executed an amendment to its Petroleum Mining Lease (PML), and it will now go ahead with its shale exploration programme.
    "We will now make plans for the initial core wells in the shale programme and, based on the results obtained, we will then progress to a development plan to drill pilot production wells," he said.
    Pipelines being installed by GAIL will allow GEECL to deliver additional future gas production volumes to new customers with the increasing demand for natural gas in India, officials said.
    A similar lease will be signed with the ESSAR Group for shale exploration in the Durgapur region next week, the government release said.
    This exploration project will bring an investment of up to Rs 7,000 crore, and is expected to create over 5,000 jobs directly and thousands more indirectly, it said.
    The production of shale is expected to help provide an alternative and cleaner source of energy and improve the air quality of the region, besides reducing greenhouse gas emission, it added. PTI BSM SCH

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)