CIL, ONGC team up to produce coal bed methane: report

The coal ministry has identified 11 mines to produce coal bed methane (CMB), of which 10 will be managed jointly by ONGC and Coal India Ltd (CIL), while the two will share the remaining mine with the Steel Authority of India (SAIL).

The decision to involve ONGC in the production of CBM from 10 new mines that Coal India will open was taken at a meeting last week, a BusinessLine report quoting coal ministry sources said. 
Initially, ONGC will harness the gas and then CIL will extract coal from them. The first agreement for harnessing CBM through this route is expected to be signed next month.
Besides, ONGC and CIL will also help develop Steel Authority of India Limited’s Parbatpur coal block for CBM production.
SAIL had surrendered the Sitanala and Parbatpur coal mines this year and had paid a penalty for not making progress on the Sitanala coal mine. But the coal ministry allowed SAIL to keep the Parbatpur mine and to attempt coal extraction with the support of ONGC and CIL, according to the reports.
SAIL had said there was a reduction in the area available for coal mining at Parbatpur due to overlapping of mining area. It had also engaged MECON to prepare a techno commercial viability report, which declared the project unviable. The SAIL board then decided to return the Parbatpur mine to the coal ministry on 1 March.