Coal Seam Methane

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 10 Mar 2010 09:05

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It seems the only news worth talking about these days is gaseous, and top of the heap is always the unconventional gas. So news of a couple of potentially important deals in coal seam gas is about par for the course.

First we have Shell's interest in the Australian company Arrow.

Shell Energy Holdings Australia Ltd. (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, confirmed today it is participating in discussions to acquire Arrow Energy Limited (Arrow), excluding its international assets.

Arrow is a specialist Coal Seam Gas company. They describe themselves as follows:

The company is an emerging global leader in coal seam gas development with an expanding business presence in Australia, China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Australia is where there is most activity in exploration and production of coal bed methane, and so its no surprise that the second story also comes from there.

The Wood Group is setting up a joint venture to focus on coal seam methane.

Wood Group Wagners Pty Ltd, a new joint venture company set up by international energy services company Wood Group and Toowoomba-based Wagners was launched today.

The new company has been established in Brisbane to provide Queensland’s gas producers with a flexible, fit-for-purpose solution for developing Coal Seam Methane (CSM) by combining Wood Group’s global CSM experience with the local supply chain capability of Wagners.

The joint venture can be found here.

All this set me wondering why there is not more being done in Europe to source gas from coal. After all, nearly every country in Europe has coal reserves. So I did a little search, and realised that there was more happening than I was aware of.

The Germans even have a Coal Gas Association.

In France, there is a company called European Gas Limited which focuses on this area.

The strategy of the company is to develop Coal Bed Methane and Coal Mine Methane projects, in particular, in France where the company has major holdings under licence.

In the UK there is also a similar company IGas

IGas was set up to produce and market gas which is found in seams of coal (CBM).

They see big potential.

The CBM industry in the UK is in its infancy, but with the continuing decline in natural gas from the North Sea, it is likely to become an increasingly attractive alternative potential source of gas.

Britain's gas major BG Group is also working on coal seam gas in its home market following on from projects in Australia.

So it seems that the European gas market could soon see a significant input from locally produced gas. It would be ironic if the solution to dirty coal powered electricity generation, was generators fired by gas, sourced from coal.


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