The government has formally constituted an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) for developing a coordinated approach for optimal exploitation of coal bed methane (CBM),underground coal gasification and shale gas.
The IMG to be headed by Planning Commission Member B K Chaturvedi includes petroleum secretary GC Chaturvedi,coal secretary Alok Perti,ONGC CMD Sudhir Vasudeva,Coal India chairman S Narsing Rao and Reliance Industries CEO P M S Prasad.
It has also been tasked with recommending a coordinated approach by oil,gas,and coal companies to work together for maximising exploration of hydrocarbon resource potential, a Commission official said. ONGC and Coal India have been entrusted the responsibility of providing support on the technical details.
The move to appoint the committee has come amid reports that oil ministry has found a wide variation in CBM prices offered by Reliance Industries and Essar.
Essar has discovered the price for its Raniganj (East) CBM at $4.2 per mmBtu,while RIL has pegged it in the range of over $11 a mmBtu for its two blocks in Madhya Pradesh,oil ministry sources said.
Although panel would not delve into the pricing issue,yet there is a clamour for the pricing issue to be given attention.
The oil rich states get 10 per cent royalty and 13 per cent value added tax from CBM while the Centre nets 12.5 per cent production-linked payment and 2 per cent central sales tax.