Joint meeting dedicated to execution of pilot coalbed methane project
The city of Kemerovo hosted today a meeting dedicated to the issues regarding the execution of a pilot coalbed methane production project. The meeting was co-chaired by Aman Tuleev, Governor of the Kemerovo Oblast and Alexander Ananenkov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.
Participating in the meeting were Sergey Shatirov, Member of the Federation Council of Russia’s Federal Assembly, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Committee for Industrial Policy, Vasily Podyuk, Member of the Gazprom Management Committee as well as heads and experts of Gazprom’s core business units and subsidiaries – Promgaz, Gazprom transgaz Tomsk, GPK Kuznetsk as well as representatives of the Kemerovo Oblast Administration.
In opening the meeting Alexander Ananenkov mentioned that the existing global practice enabled to consider coalbed methane production as a significant supplement to Gazprom’s resources.
“The task we are facing demands not only implementing one of the largest innovation projects on pilot coalbed methane production, but also creating a new segment of the gas industry to become an essential element of Gazprom’s production complex. Commercial introduction of Russian coalbed methane production technologies will minimize accidents at coal mines and considerably improve the ecological situation,” emphasized Alexander Ananenkov.
The participants addressed the implementation progress with the pilot coalbed methane production project and planned the high-priority activities to be performed as part of the project between 2008 and 2009.
The meeting resulted in the signing of a joint protocol. The significance of the project support by the government is particularly highlighted in the protocol. Among the primary measures proposed to be taken in this direction was including coalbed methane in the industrial classification system, reducing or annihilating customs duties for the entry of equipment and materials having no domestic analogues and needed for the execution of the project as well as providing support in issues related to land and subsurface use as well as energy supply. In this context the Kemerovo Oblast Administration will introduce several changes and supplements in the subsurface use laws aimed at solving issues relevant to the legal basis provision for coalbed methane production.
Gazprom and the Kemerovo Oblast Administration will jointly identify regional industrial and social targets for pilot deliveries of coalbed methane.
The decision was taken to offer the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas to start the development and training of specialists in non-conventional gas production.
“It is extremely important for the Kemerovo Oblast that the pilot coalbed methane production project carried out by Gazprom be successfully completed and become a basis for commercial gas production from coal fields. On our part we are resolved to deliver full support to the project from now and onwards,” stated Aman Tuleev, Kemerovo Oblast Governor.
The most important issue of the Gazprom strategy is to expand the hydrocarbon resource base. Development of coalbed formations as the largest methane sources and concentration areas in the crust opens wide horizons in this direction.
Forecast coalbed methane reserves in Russia are commensurate with traditional natural gas fields and estimated at 49 tcm.
Characterized by the well-developed infrastructure and favorable location of reserves in relation to large industrial centres of the Kemerovo Oblast, Kuzbass is the most suitable place for coalbed methane production.
Geologopromyslovaya Kompaniya Kuznetsk (GPK Kuznetsk) holds the license for coalbed methane prospecting, exploration and production within the Yuzhno-Kuzbasskaya Group of coal fields containing methane reserves in the amount of 6.1 tcm. In June 2007, Gazprom acquired a controlling stake in GPK Kuznetsk.
Gazprom, the Kemerovo Oblast Administration and GPK Kuznetsk entered into the Agreement to execute the coalbed methane production project in May 2003.
The Gazprom test site for the development of coalbed methane production technology was created in 2005 at Kuzbass’ Taldinskaya area where four pilot wells are currently in trial operation.
The major goals of research performed at the test site are to turn methane reserves at Kuzbass’ primary areas into commercial reserves as well as to prepare a geological, geophysical and technological basis for a commercial production project.
The test site also hosts preliminary and acceptance inspections of domestically produced pilot models of downhole and ground equipment supplied by the Kamensky Gas Equipment Plant (a wholly owned subsidiary of Promgaz).