Country’s largest public sector oil exploration company, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) (BOM: 500312) will operationalize country’s first underground coal gasification (UCG) plant near Surat in Gujarat by October 2010.
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is an industrial process, which enables coal to be converted into product gas. UCG is an in-situ gasification process carried out in non-mined coal seams using injection ofoxidants, and bringing the product gas to surface through production wells drilled from the surface. The product gas could to be used as a chemical feedstock or as fuel for power generation. The technique can be applied to resources that are otherwise not economical to extract and also offers an alternative to conventional coal mining methods for some resources. Compared to the traditional coal mining and gasification, the UCG has less environmental and social impact.