The global coal bed methane (CBM) market size is expected to witness steady growth over the forecast period. Shift from conventional energy sources like coal and natural gas to alternative energy is a major driving factor. Rising implementation of energy conservation strategies in developed nations is expected to further fuel expansion. Technological advancements and high energy demand is also anticipated to play a crucial role in rising demand for CBM.
Rising power consumption in primary markets such as U.S., Canada, China, Russia, and Indonesia in light of growing manufacturing sectors is expected to promote use of CBM as energy source. Technological advancements for the introduction of new extraction processes such as hydraulic fracturing for producing CBM in U.S. and Canada is expected to open new opportunities over the years to come. Presence of large coal reserves in China, India, and Australia along with regulatory support to promote new investments in mineral processing is expected to ensure raw material access to CBM manufacturers. This factor is projected to positively influence market over the forecast period.
CBM is an alternative form of natural gas extracted from bituminous and sub-bituminous coals. It is processed as a feedstock to application segments including agriculture, power, petrochemicals, and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). The gas is produced as a by-product of a geological process where a high level of pressure and temperature converts organic matter into coal beds.
Environmental and economic considerations are expected to remain a primary challenge for the industry in near future. Abundant availability of coal bed reserves paves the way for its processing for gas production among oil and gas market players. However, environmental impacts like high level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production of CBM is expected to remain a concerning factor for new market entrants. In addition, high level of expenditure for processing CBM is estimated to induce price hike for the final product. This factor may challenge market participants over the forecast period.
North America is expected to remain one of the largest markets in the forthcoming years. Assertive outlook towards construction and automotive sectors in U.S. and Mexico in light of increasing domestic consumption is expected to boost usage of energy and petrochemicals. This trend is projected to fuel demand for coal bed methane as a feedstock for the production of power and petrochemicals.
However, increasing usage of shale gas as a feedstock for production of petrochemicals in the U.S. and Canada on account of rising awareness is expected to pose a substantial threat for coal bed methane industry. In addition, growing concerns over environmental effect associated with the usage of hydraulic fracturing are forecasted to remain a concerning factor for CBM manufacturers over the forecast period.
High concentration of coal bed gas reserves in Bowen and Surat Basins of Australia in light of regulatory support to promote investments is expected to have a positive impact on market growth. In October 2015, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) announced to commencement of CBM production at USD 400 million in Bokaro and North Karanpura. In August 2012, China United Coalbed Methane Corporation announced its plan to spend USD 1.56 billion to produce coal bed methane as a part of a 30 year agreement. Initiatives, as mentioned above, by various oil and gas manufacturer, are expected to remain favorable factors for coal bed methane industry.
However, high market visibility of conventional sources including natural gas and crude oil in China, India, and Indonesia on account of their low processing cost as compared to unconventional counterparts is expected to have an adverse impact on growth over the forecast period. The robust presence of conventional energy sources in Middle East is projected to reduce the scope of demand for CBM in near future.
Key manufacturers in the global coal bed methane (CBM) market include Quick Silver Resources, Santos, Blue Energy Limited, Halliburton, Dart Energy Ltd., Baker Hughes Incorporated, BG Group, Fortune Oil PLC, Metagasco Limited, and Conoco Philips. The positive market outlook for automotive and construction sectors in China, India, and Brazil in light of increasing demand from end-use segments is expected to encourage industry participants to keep production units in the vicinity. The introduction of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) in India with effect from February 2015 along with provision of attractive tax benefits is expected to promote the investment in unconventional sources such as CBM over the next few years.
Research Support Specialist, USA