The initiative is highly promising. It can help strengthen Ukraine’s energy independence, increase miners’ safety, promote European integration processes and create additional opportunities for local community development.
Ukraine has one of the highest methane content per ton of coal ratios (an average of 2.5 m3/t in Canada and up to 25 m3/t in Ukraine), and ranks 7th in terms of coal reserves in the world. That is why this technology has great prospects in our country. We are currently conducting survey work at a site selected jointly with SE Lvivvuhillia. If initial research is positive, at the end of 2023 we intend to fully launch the project and start drilling”, said Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov.
The Initiative is based on the experience of applying coal-bed methane extraction technologies (Coal-Bed Methane) which Naftogaz Group specialists studied at production sites in the USA, China and Canada.
This technology has long been used worldwide. For instance, in the USA coal-bed methane production exceeds 60 bcm per year which is almost three times the annual gas consumption in Ukraine. We have great prospects too, and we should take advantage of them”, noted Chernyshov.
The technology doesn’t only contribute to Ukraine’s energy independence; it could also make coal production safer.
For hundreds of years, coal-bed methane has been seen as the “enemy of miners” and has served as a source of explosions and sudden releases of coal and rock in mines. Methane control requires significant material, technical, energy and labour resources. Scaling up efficient and commercially viable coal-bed gas production will help make the sector in general more efficient.
This could help Ukraine improve its compliance with EU directives on reducing emissions of harmful gases. Production will also boost the economic development of participating regions, creating additional jobs and bringing taxes to the local budget.
The survey is being implemented jointly with Naftogaz Group and SE Lvivvuhillia as part of the state program to strengthen Ukraine’s energy independence.
Coal-bed methane is a by-product of coal deposits which is found in coal beds and host rocks. Coal-bed methane has been used as a by-product for over 50 years. Coal-bed methane as an independent mineral was first developed after the 1973 oil crisis.