Research Body Mulls Gas Extraction from Coal

Research Body Mulls Gas  Extraction from CoalResearch Body Mulls Gas  Extraction from Coal

The Oil Industry Research Institute of Iran is ready to explore new methane resources in the country's rich coal reserves, said the institute's director of upstream sector Seyyed Saleh Hendi, Shana reported.

Iran's known coal reserves amount to 1.1 billion tons and untapped reserves are estimated at around 1.7 billion tons, with the country's total mineral resources amounting to 14 billion tons, he said.

Iran is the only country in the Middle East with such immense coal reserves.  However, only 30 percent of these resources are currently extracted due to operational difficulties. Iran is ranked 26th globally in terms of known coal reserves and 12th in terms of total coal reserves.

  Methane Production

Approximately 70 percent of the coal resources can be used for extraction of methane, according to Hendi.

"Considering Iran's rich coal reserves, we want to produce methane as a new source of energy," he stressed, saying that Alborz Province and the cities of Kerman and Tabas hold the biggest coal reserves.

  CNG Extraction

New gas resources including shale gas and compressed natural gas (CNG) can be found in sandstone and other deep layers in the ground, said Hendi.

"The institute is keen to undertake the exploration and extraction of gas resources from coal mines nationally using advanced machinery and an expert domestic and international workforce," Hendi said. "A series of agreements are to be signed in the near future."