The Ministry of Coal authorised a complete policy framework for UCG in lignite and coal-rich areas in December 2015.

India’s first pilot project for underground coal gasification launched in Jharkhand 

The Ministry of Coal initiated India’s first-ever pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) at the Kasta coal block in Jamtara district, Jharkhand. This effort, run by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), intends to use in-situ gasification to transform coal into useful gasses, including carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide in order to revolutionise the coal business, according to the government press release. These gases are used in many industrial processes, such as the synthesis of synthetic natural gas and the chemistry of chemical feedstocks used to make explosives, fertilisers, and fuels. The Ministry of Coal authorised a complete policy framework for UCG in lignite and coal-rich areas in December 2015. In accordance with this policy, Coal India decided to implement UCG technology in the Kasta coal block. 

Fossil fuel consumption in India rose 8% in 2023

According to a report in the Economic Times, India’s use of fossil fuels increased by 8% in 2023, accounting for nearly all of the growth in demand. Its share of total consumption was 89% . An Energy Institute (EI) analysis stated that India consumed more coal than all of Europe and North America combined for the first time. The analysis contained the first complete global energy data for 2023. According to the report, primary energy consumption worldwide reached a record absolute high of 620 Exajoules (EJ), up 2% from the previous year. Global fossil fuel consumption reached a record high, up 1.5% to 505 EJ —driven by coal up 1.6%, oil up 2% to above 100 million barrels for the first time, while gas was flat. 

Karnataka to get its first gas plant in July

In a first for Karnataka, a 370 megawatt (MW) gas-based combined cycle power plant (CCPP) in Yelahanka in Bengaluru is scheduled to be commissioned in the second week of July. The unit, which was set up by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) is designed to produce 370.05 MW of power, of which 236.825 MW will come from a gas turbine and 133.225 MW from a steam turbine. According to officials, the pilot production process is now complete.  In 2016, despite strong opposition from the community, the project’s foundation was laid. In October 2020, there was an additional incident involving an explosion and undetected oil leak that resulted in a fire at the power plant, injuring 15 employees with burns. Eventually, the project encountered legal issues as a result of nearby homeowners’ complaints about pollution. The plant’s close proximity to the Puttenahalli and Yelahanka lakes had drawn special concern.

EU passes sanctions on Russia, includes first-ever LNG sector measures

In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, EU member states have adopted the 14th round of sanctions, which, for the first time, includes a restriction on the reexport of Russian LNG within the EU. Currently, the main entry locations for LNG deliveries from Russia’s Siberian Yamal Peninsula are European ports in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and Spain. Some of these ports serve as important hubs for re-exports to nations like China, Turkey, and further Southeast Asia. The negotiated wording removed a feature that would have required EU companies’ subsidiaries in third countries to contractually forbid the re-export of their goods to Russia, so weakening an early proposal by the European Commission. The bulk of Russia’s LNG supplies to the EU will remain unaffected by the additional limits included in the package. The bloc has never before placed restrictions on LNG, though, and this prohibition on trans-shipments is a first-ever, comprehensive policy whose adoption at the EU level would have once appeared unimaginable. 

Russia’s planned LNG terminals in the Arctic and Baltic will no longer be able to get funding, and ports within the EU would not be permitted to resell Russian LNG.Since Europe continues to buy Russian gas, some gas market analysts have questioned whether the curbs will actually have any effect. Meanwhile, only 10% of total Russian LNG exports are transshipped from EU ports to Asia. 

Gas flaring by oil and gas producers rose by about 7% last year

According to a World Bank analysis, last year’s burning of excess natural gas from global oil fields reached its highest point since 2019 and sent enough pollutants into the environment to match the emissions from an additional five million cars. Oil and gas companies flared 148 billion cubic metres of gas last year, up almost 7% from 2022, said the report. An additional 23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions were produced by the increase in flaring.The report stated that during the period, oil output stayed largely steady, leading to a 5% rise in the amount of gas flared per barrel produced. Among the nine nations that accounted for 46% of the world’s oil production and 75% of the flaring were the US, Venezuela, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, and Mexico. According to the report, these countries have dominated flaring internationally for more than 10 years, and several have increased the intensity of gas burning.

Fossil fuel use reaches global record despite clean energy growth

Consumption of fossil fuels reached a record high in 2023, driving emissions to more than 40 billion tonnes of CO2 for the first time, according to a global energy report. Despite a record rise in the use of renewable energy last year, consumption of fossil fuels continued to rise, the annual review of world energy by the Energy Institute found. Global primary energy consumption hit an all-time high of 620 exajoules (EJ) in 2023. Fossil fuels accounted for almost all demand growth in India, while in China, fossil fuels use rose 6% to a new high, it added. However, China also accounted for over half of global additions in renewable energy generation last year, Reuters said.

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