Development of coal bed methane in Karaganda - way to supply gas to Kazakhstan's center 06 января 2014, 15:04
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© Marat Abilov
Officials gathered in Astana to discuss production of methane from Karaganda coal basin, Tengrinews reports.
If this kind of methane production is establishing the area it would supply Karaganda city, Karaganda Oblast and Astana city with their own gas. “The optimistic scenario requires us to clearly identify the consumer. What concerns the technical capacity, the basin can produce 4 billion cubic meters a year. So we can meet the demand of Karaganda city, Karaganda Oblast and Astana city for gas,” said Deputy Akim (Deputy Governor) of Karaganda Oblast Anuar Akhmetzhanov at the round table discussion of perspectives of development and production of methane from Karaganda coal basin.
According to Akhmetzhanov, the prime cost of the gas will be at $120 per one thousand cubic meters. “Gas production, especially from coal beds, is a cost demanding business that requires large investments. (…) that is why we need state support in the form of custom and tax preferences,” said the Deputy Akim.
Besides, the new project requires some legislative changes. "Methane from coal beds should be recognized as a separate natural resource and a tax regime should be established for it. Besides, legislative and financial support measures should be clearly specified to stimulate companies to produce and dispose of methane at coal mines, explore and estimate the methane reserves at promising mines at the expense of the state budget. Together with the mining companies, the authorities should develop clear requirements to minimize the environmental damage," he said.
Deputy Governor Akhmetzhanov called the government to legislatively induce addition safety requirements for coal beds prone to outbursts by prohibiting mining works at outburst-prone coal beds with high gas-bearing capacity until degasification boreholes are drilled into the coalbeds.
He added that to ensure investments into development of Karaganda coal licensing of subsurface rights had to be simplified, and to raise proper human resources for the project local professionals had to be sent abroad for training in coal-based methane production technologies.
The geological reserves of coal in Karaganda basin are estimated at 51.3 billion tons. The commercial reserves were estimated at 7.8 billion tons in 1971 when the last large scale exploration was made in the area.