Polish Oil and Gas Company and Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa have signed a contract for the pre-mining of methane from hard coal seams. The works will be carried out at the Budryk Coal Mine, which is owned by JSW.
As part of the PGNiG and JSW project, a demo installation of methane from the drilled directional holes will be performed, and production tests will be conducted to analyze the efficiency of methane inflow and the impact of fracturing on subsequent coal mining. The works will be carried out this year based on the Geological Works Project approved by the Minister of the Environment.
“We are pleased that JSW as yet another company is undertaking cooperation on a project that is of great importance for the safety of miners’ work in mines and for limiting methane emissions to the atmosphere,” said Piotr Woźniak, President of the Management Board of PGNiG SA. “Cooperation with JSW is another step to start work on the extraction of this fuel on an industrial scale,” he added.
According to the estimates of the Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute, there may be as much as 193 bcm of methane in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. And it craetes a serious problem for coal mining companies.
“Methane in coal seams, which is a problem for mining companies, is an opportunity for PGNiG as an additional source of gas. Annually, we can get up to 1.5 billion cubic meters this way. raw materials. Thanks to this, we will strengthen the country’s energy security, and at the same time we will significantly improve the working conditions in the mines,” said Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice President of the Management Board of PGNiG SA for Development.
Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa – the project partner – is the leader in the economic use of methane. “Due to the exploitation of lower and lower coal seams, the methane threat in our mines will increase. Methane is also a valuable energy resource. We take a number of actions to ensure the safety of our employees, minimize methane emissions to the atmosphere and maximize the use of gas we capture for economic purposes,” said Włodzimierz Hereźniak, President of the Management Board of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa.
The intake of gas from the underground methane drainage system improves energy efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. “Removing methane from the rock mass is one of our strategic technical processes because it is the most effective method of combating methane hazard. Currently, the efficiency of methane drainage in our mines is just over 30 percent. Thanks to pre-mining demethanation, we have a chance to increase the amount of gas consumed,” explains Artur Dyczko, JSW’s Deputy President of the Management Board for Strategy and Development.
The cooperation of JSW and PGNiG takes place as part of the Geo-Metan program, which aims to develop methods and techniques for pre-mining methane extraction from coal seams. The companies signed a letter of intent in this regard in January 2018. Tauron Polska Energia SA and Polska Grupa Górnicza are also signatories.
The works will be carried out at the Budryk Coal Mine. The deposit is located in Ornontowice, Gierałtowice, Mikołów, Orzesz and Czerwionka-Leszczyn.
Regardless of cooperation with JSW, under the Geo-Metan project, PGNiG is currently conducting drilling works in the area of KWK Ruda Ruch Bielszowice, which is owned by Polska Grupa Górnicza.
PGNiG is also trying to raise funds from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management for further development of the Geo-Metan program. The company expects a positive decision to grant funding in the coming days.