A total of 57 delegates from more than 20 companies/organizations including 14 E&P companies participated in the road show to promote fourth bid round of CBM IV at Brisbane. The E&P companies who participated in the Brisbane road show were Aker Solutions Australia, Benaris Group, Blue Energy, European Gas Ltd., Gippsland Offshore Petroleum, LINC Energy, Norwest Energy NL, Origin Energy, Xstrata etc.

Pandey invited E&P companies and prospective investors to avail of the highly attractive investment opportunities being offered under CBM-IV.

He stated that CBM is being offered in the backdrop of significant findings in the eastern and central parts of India. After the launch of CBM-I in 2001, the exploration activities have established encouraging CBM resources in some of the awarded blocks. Commercial assessment has established about eight trillion cubic feet (TCF) of reserves in five CBM blocks. Commercial production of CBM has started in July, 2007 from Raniganj (South) CBM block which is being operated by GEECL. The commercial production is about 100,000 cubic meters per day from Raniganj block.

Pandey informed that the recent discoveries have significantly changed perceptions about the prospectivity of CBM. Government of India would utilize this in undertaking an effective promotional programme to highlight the attractive investment opportunities available under CBM-IV to prospective investors from Australia in general and from the State of Queensland in particular which have vast experience in CBM operations.

CBM operation is now pursued in India with right earnest as the country is endowed with substantial reserves of coal and lignite and happens to be the third largest proven reserves of coal in the world. There was an overwhelming response from the foreign E&P companies in the third round of CBM offered in 2006. Encouraged by our past successes, we are offering 10 Blocks in the CBM-IV covering an area of about 5,000 square kilometers spread over seven Indian states namely, Assam, Jharkhand, Orrissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

The CBM operations carried out by various operators in Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro, North Karanpura and Sohagpur coal bearing provinces reveals that Barakar/ Raniganj coal reserves are excellent CBM plays, which can be harnessed commercially with the induction of appropriate technology. Efforts are also made in Sohagpur (East) and Sohagpur (West) CBM blocks to commence commercial production in a short period.

Sue Kruse, representative of Government of Australia said that Australia and India have a strong and growing relationship, the Australian Government has stated that it is time to raise the level of the relationship to a strategic partnership – to the benefit of both nations and the region. Eight Australian ministers are expected to visit India in 2009 and nine Indian Ministers have visited Australia in the past 18 months. This is unprecedented engagement at the Ministerial level. Our strong relationship is underpinned by expanding trade and investment in a wide range of fields, including energy, mineral resources, tourism, education and financial services. Ms. Sue Kruse focused the attention of the companies to increase the presence of the Australian companies in E&P sector in India, considering the supportive regulatory regime and attractive commercial terms.

To facilitate data viewing by E&P companies, the Government of India has opened a data center at Noida, India, and at other centers at Houston, London, Calgary, Perth and Brisbane. The data centers will be available for access on request.

The bid closing date for CBM-IV is October 12, 2009. It is expected that CBM-IV bid rounds would result in a very good response from E&P companies and prospective investors as they are likely to avail of the excellent investment opportunities being offered through CBM-IV. Government is committed to complete evaluation, award and signing of production sharing contracts in a reasonable time frame and the whole process would be completed in a transparent manner as demonstrated in past round of CBM.