Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited (GEECL), a London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed Indian coal-bed methane producer, plans to invest Rs 2,000 crore to complete drilling of the remaining 144 wells at its flagship Raniganj (South) license area located in West Bengal, managing director and chief executive officer Prashant Modi told ETEnergyWorld.
“As of now, no drilling of wells is taking place. Our focus was to optimize the asset first, resulting in the increase in production in 2017-2018. We can commence drilling anytime we want to but we are waiting right now. We will make an announcement when we plan to commence drilling again,” Modi said.
The company’s production from its Raniganj (South) license area last financial year ended March 2018 increased 19.5 per cent to 19.61 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) as compared to 16.41 mmscfd produced in the previous fiscal.
He said that the company had already drilled 156 wells and the remaining ones could take around four years to drill from the date of commencement of work, adding the demand remained strong in the region.
The firm’s sale of coal-bed methane gas in the first two months of the first quarter ended June 2018 rose 43 per cent to 12.06 mmscfd.
Modi said the company had over 30 customers and the increase in sales could be attributed to anchor customers buying more gas and new customers coming in the fold. GEECL’s cash profit increased 331 per cent to $11 million at the end of financial year ended March 2018, on the back of increased sales and better price realisation.
The company’s average sales last fiscal increased 23.4 per cent to 10.69 mmscfd and average delivered sale price of gas increased to $10.90 per million British thermal unit (mmbtu) as compared to $10.07 mmbtu realised previous financial year.
Modi also said the company is taking a hit on account of stranded taxes arising due to exclusion of natural gas from the goods and services tax (GST) but added the firm remains hopeful of the inclusion of natural gas in the GST as the oil ministry has been pushing for that in the GST Council.
He said the company continues to eye the unconventional hydrocarbon space in India and was hoping that additional data of the country’s shale resources is made available soon.
GEECL’s net debt reduced to $86.80 million in the financial year ended March 2018 as compared to $93.53 in the previous year.
Source: ET Energyworld