New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) India Thursday decided to defer a decision on the award of 10 new blocks for exploration of coalbed methane (CBM) gas with technical objections being raised on the fact that the official panel had not reviewed the matter in full strength.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmusi told media after the meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) that the matter is being further looked into by an empowered committee of secretaries.
In the earlier meeting in place of four secretaries, including secretaries of petroleum and coal, the empowered panel that finalised the decisions had included only one secretary and two joint secretaries, Dasmunsi said without identifying the officials who had failed to attend the meeting.
'The decision will now be taken after a meeting of the full team of the empowered committee of secretaries,' the minister said.
This is set to delay the final decision on the award of the third round of CBM blocks for which 54 bids from 26 firms were received in June for the 10 blocks.
Methane is seen as alternate gas for meeting local gas needs of industries, transport and domestic use. India is expected to see the first CBM production from 2007 with three encouraging discoveries so far by Great Eastern Energy, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Reliance Industries.