GMI Explores New Opportunities for Coal Mine Methane in India

Did you hear the big news in India? In November 2015, India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas decreed that Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries will be allowed to explore coalbed methane (CBM) gas in the mining leases they possess. Until now, Coal India was only allowed to mine coal from its owned or leased mines, but can now also capture natural gas to use as energy from coal seams of these mines. Given GMI’s longstanding relationship with India’s Central Mine Planning and Design Institute’s (CMPDI) India CMM/CBM Clearinghouse, Coal Subcommittee Co-Chair Felicia Ruiz set out to Ranchi to explore opportunities.

Pre-feasibility study presentation from the Clearinghouse visit in Ranchi. Left to right: Mr. Jayesh Chandra Rai, Chinakuri Mines, ECL; Mr. Rajiw Lochan, CMPDI; Mr. B.N. Prasad CMPDI; Mr. Bhola Nath Shukla, CMPDI; Ms. Felicia Ruiz, U.S. EPA.

Ms. Ruiz met with mine managers from the Chinakuri Colliery, Sodepur Area, West Bengal State, Burdwan District, India and ECL (Eastern Coalfields Limited, subsidiary of Coal India) to provide them with preliminary findings of a GMI-sponsored coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization pre-feasibility study currently underway. The study focused on the Chinakuri Colliery Mine No. 1, which is considered to be a Degree III gassy mine, the highest category for methane emissions in India. Methane emissions from virgin areas such as Sodepur are projected to be very high, which will impact mine safety, productivity, and ventilation requirements. To help mitigate the projected high methane emission levels, Coal India and Eastern Coalfields have expressed an interest in pursuing a methane pre-drainage program, in advance of mining.

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Wrapping up the meeting. Foreground: Ms. Ruiz and Mr. Shukla. Background: Mr. Lochan.

Given the positive results of the GMI-sponsored pre-feasibility study, CMPDI and Coal India indicated their serious intent to develop a commercial CMM project in the near term. The GMI team looks forward to working with our partners at CMPDI on this and other future CMM capture and use projects.

GMI Speaker Highlights – Oil & Natural Gas

saunierGMI and our partners at the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) have many interesting and exciting speakers lined up for the Global Methane Forum. Last week, we highlighted Jose Penido and Terry (Sing) Cho, representing the biogas and urban waste sectors. Here is a little information about one of our speakers presenting in the Oil and Gas Technical and Policy session.

Stephanie Saunier

Stephanie Saunier is the managing director of Carbon Limits and an expert on short-lived climate pollutant emissions and mitigation potential. She has managed a number of projects related to methane and black carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector. Over the past few years, she has been involved extensively as a resource on these matters for a number of institutions, including the U.S. State Department and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). In 2013, Ms. Saunier lent her expertise to the International Energy Agency (IEA) as a reviewer for the methane section of the IEA World Energy Outlook Special Report 2013: Redrawing the Energy Climate Map. She has also been involved in a number of gas flare reduction projects in Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, and USA.

IEA-thumbnailAt the Forum, she will present during the afternoon oil & gas technical session on National Policies and Programs to Maximize Environmental, Safety and Economic Benefits. Her presentation will broadly cover:

  • Capacity building: Experience and lessons-learned from a program in Ukraine and Kazakhstan (in particular the measurement campaigns)
  • Methane inventory and abatement potential in Kazakhstan: Using the results of different measurement campaigns and the evaluation of methane abatement potential and cost in Kazakhstan

Two key messages of the presentation will be to show how “understanding the emissions” and “mitigation” go hand-in-hand, and how emissions abatement can be assessed specifically for one country using information on local practices and local emission factors.

Before joining Carbon Limits, Ms. Saunier worked for four years for Schlumberger Carbon Services in the field of CO2 storage, where her role was at the intersection between project management, strategy and technical consulting. She has managed teams of specialized experts on a wide range of projects in Africa, Asia, and Europe, particularly on site selection, characterization and risk assessment. Ms. Saunier holds a Masters in Engineering and Management from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris.

Global Methane Forum – Speaker Highlights

GMI and our partners at the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) have many interesting and exciting speakers lined up for the Global Methane Forum. Here is a little information about two of them.


Terry Cho, World BankMicrosoft Word - Copy _2_ of Interview 1 - Marx LiPi Records_lia
Terry Cho is a specialist working in urban water and sanitation issues as part of the World Bank’s China and Mongolia Sustainable Development project. His presentation on 29 March, in the 14:00 China session, will highlight tremendous opportunities for improving sludge treatment practices while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation will focus on a new World Bank report on sludge management strategy in China that analyzes current sludge management practices and recommends improved best management practices from projects across the globe. Mr. Cho holds an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


Jose Penido, COMLURBjose-penido-2

Jose Henrique Penido Monteiro is a Senior Advisor to the Rio de Janeiro City Solid Waste Company (COMLURB). Mr. Penido has coordinated efforts among GMI, the CCAC, and the C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector. At the Forum, he will be presenting a case study of Rio de Janeiro’s transformation of its waste management practices to become a greener and cleaner city ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Stay tuned for more news and highlights about the fantastic slate of speakers lined up for the Forum! For a draft agenda and other information about the Forum, visit or our FAQ post.



























January News Round-Up

January’s news coverage on methane was dominated by California’s massive methane leak. Let’s skip that for now and begin with some good news: it turns out that methane emissions from Australian cows were drastically overestimated. In lieu of cheers, let’s just say a collective MOO to that.

In other news, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new draft rule that would require oil and gas companies to capture leaked methane rather than flare it. Perhaps another MOO is in order?

Now for the bigger and more depressing news: methane is still spewing out of the Aliso Canyon, California, storage site. Even though the leak is slowing, it is unfortunately very difficult to fix and likely won’t be fixed until at least March. In response to the leak, some have questioned whether better technology could be developed to detect/prevent leaks? Hopefully March will bring better news on this topic. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out Carbon Visual’s interactive animation on the leak to help visualize and bring insight to the rate at which methane is being released.


January Methane News Round-Up


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