Mumbai/Kolkata, December 21, 2023: Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd (EOGEPL), one of the largest E&P companies in India and a leader in unconventional hydrocarbon space, today announced the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay). The collaboration aims to jointly spearhead research and development initiatives focused on indigenous advancements in various cutting-edge CBM (Coal Bed Methane) technologies.
Coal Bed Methane (CBM) has the potential to meet India’s energy demands, reducing reliance on fossil fuels while storing CO2 in depleted coal seams. EOGEPL’s Raniganj East CBM Block stands as a flagship asset, boasting a substantial volume of CBM gas resources. Acknowledged as a prime example of CBM development in India, it has fostered a dedicated customer base reliant on its CBM gas supply to support their businesses.
IIT Bombay holds global acclaim for its high-quality education and ground-breaking research across diverse domains encompassing science, engineering, design, management, and humanities.
The partnership between EOGEPL and IIT Bombay will delve into research and development, particularly in potential Enhanced Coal Bed Methane (ECBM) recovery techniques and CO2 sequestration. This collaborative effort aims to unravel the complexities of enhanced coal bed methane processes through innovative, experimental and simulation methodologies.
The envisioned research includes advanced reservoir simulation studies using industry-standard software platforms. Additionally, it will explore the development of suitable methodologies for extracting gas from deeper coal seams. The focus extends to screening new enhanced recovery techniques to boost production from existing wells, primarily through CO2 enhanced CBM recovery studies.
As part of the MoU, EOGEPL would propose an initial list of thematic areas of research. The company will provide necessary funding and data support for the Project and grant access to wells for mutually agreed investigations and research experiments. EOGEPL is committed to jointly pursuing collaborative research training and programs with IIT Bombay.
While IIT Bombay will undertake project activities within the agreed thematic areas, offering technology development support, and delivering results to EOGEPL as per the project objectives and schedules. This involves engaging students and faculty with the required expertise and capacity, providing training to EOGEPL officials as mutually agreed upon, and leveraging basic infrastructural facilities to facilitate smooth research operations.
Commenting on the MoU signing, Mr. Pankaj Kalra, CEO, EOGEPL said, “This collaboration highlights Essar’s strong dedication to innovation and knowledge sharing. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to create pioneering solutions with far-reaching effects. It exemplifies Essar’s firm commitment to technological advancement and its eagerness to work with ivy league educational institutions to further industry practices.”
Mr. Sachin C Patwardhan, Dean (R&D) of IIT Bombay expressed similar enthusiasm.
The company has invested a significant Rs 5,000 crore in the Raniganj block, resulting in the drilling of 348 wells and the daily production of nearly 0.9 million metric standard cubic meters (mmscd) of gas. Furthermore, EOGEPL is set to invest an additional Rs 2,000 crore to drill an additional 200 wells over the next 18 to 24 months in its coal bed methane project in West Bengal’s Raniganj.
The Raniganj block has a resource base of 12 TCF (Trillion Cubic Feet) CBM. The company is contributing significantly to the Nation’s vision of being a gas-based economy.