Essar outlines how its CBM contribution is bolstering for India’s energy landscape

image is ESSAR

In an exclusive interview with Energy Connects, Essar Oil & Gas Exploration & Production CEO Pankaj Kalra outlines why being at India Energy Week is essential and how the company is driving India’s ‘perfect alternative fuel’ production.

Please tell us more about your company and its contribution to the Indian energy sector.

Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Limited (EOGEPL) is playing a transformative role in the Indian energy sector by focusing on unconventional hydrocarbons. With production of about one million standard cubic metres per day, EOGEPL is the largest Coal Bed Methane (CBM) player in India, holding substantial reserves of 12 trillion cubic feet. The company is currently contributing 65% of India’s total CBM production and around 1% of India’s gas production, which we strive to increase to 5%. Aligned with the nation’s vision of transitioning into a gas-based economy, EOGEPL’s proactive approach reflects its commitment to reshaping the energy sector and supporting the country’s agenda for a sustainable and diversified energy mix. 

Could you share some highlights of your company’s future growth plans, diversification strategies and partnerships?

EOGEPL is charting an ambitious course for future growth through diversification plans and strategic partnerships. Actively steering the future of Coal Bed Methane (CBM), the company is collaborating with industry veterans and investing in ongoing research, cutting-edge technologies, and operational optimisation. The company has so far invested Rs5,000 crore in drilling 350 wells in the Raniganj block and plans further investment of Rs2,000 crore the drilling additional wells over the next 18 to 24 months. This strategic initiative is set to significantly elevate the share of gas in the nation’s energy mix, helping it shift from the current 6.7% to a substantial 15%. 

How do you view the Indian and global energy market in 2024, and how are you focusing on the energy transition?

In 2024, we envision both the Indian and global energy markets as dynamic landscapes, with India poised to become the world’s third-largest energy and oil consumer. Our strategic focus centres on embracing emerging trends, particularly the shift towards energy transition and the adoption of alternative fuels. EOGEPL is leading India’s energy transition by pioneering Coal Bed Methane (CBM) exploration, investing in cutting-edge technologies, and fostering global partnerships for operational efficiency. CBM emits 50% less carbon than any solid fuels and around 30% less than liquid fuels. 

How important is it for your company to be part of India Energy Week? 

India Energy Week stands as a significant landmark event. Emphasising the convergence of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon, biofuels, green hydrogen, renewable energy (RE) is a key focus. Simultaneously, the event fosters essential relationships with our existing stakeholders and enhances our brand visibility. Currently, India caters to 50% of natural gas consumption through the import of LNG. With CBM in play, there is a potential to displace India’s gas imports. We are here to promote the perfect alternative fuel for a sustainable energy solution, showcase our expansion plans, and highlight the company’s role in realising India’s vision of a gas-based economy.

What are your views on the prospects of the energy sector in India and the wider region?

India’s energy requirements are expected to grow at ~5.6-6.4% per annum over the next few years, and likely to contribute 25% of global energy demand growth over the next two decades. As the fastest-growing economy in the world, India’s energy sector holds promising prospects, driven by proactive government measures and a conducive regulatory framework fostering private sector participation. India plans to have 500 GW of non-fossil based electricity installed capacity by 2030. This would mean that non-fossil cleaner fuel would comprise 50% of the installed capacity mix by 2030. India aims to increase its gas in energy mix from 6% to 15%. CBM offers a pathway to substantially reduce India’s current 50% reliance on natural gas imports, and substantial cost savings. Our commitment extends to infrastructure modernisation and the exploration of new energy frontiers, playing a
key role in reshaping India’s energy trajectory.  


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