ONGC’s executive director, Dr D.M. Kale, signed the agreement with Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mark Wainwright at a ceremony held in the Faculty of Engineering on January 28.
The 18-month collaborative project with the School of Petroleum Engineering is to explore suitable technologies for the exploitation of coal bed methane (CBM) gas from coal seams in India.
“India cannot meet the demand for gas,” says Dr D.M. Kale. “Coal bed methane is a very big resource in India and with our rapidly growing economy we need all the energy we can get. We look forward to learning from UNSW which has a strong reputation in this field.”
CBM is attracting strong interest internationally as an alternative form of gas production and is currently being produced in Australia. The school of petroleum engineering recently successfully completed a similar research project for the Sydney Gas Company, which is now producing gas from coal seams in the Picton/Camden area. The energy is being fed into the NSW energy grid.
Professor Val Pinczewski, head of the School of Petroleum Engineering, says UNSW has more than 20 years expertise in CBM technologies. A CBM simulator created at UNSW is now being used worldwide to design and optimise CBM developments.
ONGC officers will work alongside UNSW researchers during the life of the project, which will be headed by Professors Pinczewski and Sheik Rahman. Dilip Tamhane, a member of the School's research group, will be the liaison between ONGC and UNSW.
Basic research and interpretation of test data will be carried out at UNSW. Subsequent filed testing will be done by ONGC on the Behar and Bengal coal seams in Southern India.