Essar Oil & Gas Exploration & Production (EOGEPL) has lined up investments totalling 20 billion Indian rupees ($244 million), as it prepares to expand the potential of its flagship coalbed methane asset in the eastern state of West Bengal.

The Indian private-sector player’s chief executive, Pankaj Kalra, told a local media outlet that additional investments in the Raniganj East CBM block will mean drilling 200 wells in the unconventional gas asset over the next 18 to 24 months.

EOGEPL is eyeing a sizeable increase in production from the CBM asset as it makes its fresh investment commitment.

Kalra said CBM gas production from Raniganj East will reach 3 million cubic metres per day in the long term, but a short-term increase is also forecast.

The company is using “the latest technology in the existing wells” to ramp up production from 900,000 cubic metres per day to 1.3 MMcmd, “which will be completed in a few months”, Kalra told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

Systematic approach

In its third-quarter results in February, EOGEPL said it is operating 350 wells in the block and “has taken up a systematic approach of good revival through the adaptation of world-class technology and stimulation techniques”.

The companycsaid CBM production has been increasing after commissioning of the Urja Ganga Pipeline “with the availability of 100% gas offtake further buoyed by continued tailwinds in global gas prices”.

EOGEPL said it is working towards opening up new frontiers, “one of them being shale gas exploration which will help the company consolidate its position as one of the largest unconventional hydrocarbon players in the region”.

Kalra told the Indian media that two shale gas wells would be drilled at the Raniganj block later this year as a pilot project, with a detailed appraisal to be carried out after.

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