KOLKATA: Coal India (CIL) will undertake commercial extraction of methane from all new mines holding substantial volume of the gas. Methane would be sold commercially before the company takes up coal extraction from these mines boosting bottomline considerably.
“It will be possible because the government has recently waived off licensing requirement for extracting methane from coal seams that fall under Coal India’s lease hold area,” a senior Coal India executive told ET. “It has two advantages: Coal India will earn additional revenue from the methane it sells in the market. Following methane extraction, which will bring down gaseous deposit to near zero, mining seams would be safer and larger quantities of coal can be mined from them. It would be a two-way revenue gain.”
Methane released by coal deposits remain trapped in seams, which escapes into the atmosphere when coal is mined. Methane trapped in mines can kill miners if present in high concentration. In order to avoid fatalities at deposits with high concentration of such gas, the practice has been to puncture these seams and inject air into it forcing out methane into atmosphere or even flare it.
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