SESSION OF THE GROUP OF EXPERTS ON COAL MINE METHANESESSION OF THE GROUP OF EXPERTS ON COAL MINE METHANE

Geneva, October 23rd–26th 2017

On October 23rd–26th 2017, the United Nations Office at Palais des Nations in Geneva hosted the 12th Session of the Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane. Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice-President of the PGNiG Management Board for Development, and dr Janusz Jureczka, Director of the Silesian Branch of the Polish Geological Institute − National Research Institute, took an active part in the event, voicing the interests of PGNiG. The list of participants also featured prof. dr hab. inż. Stanisław Prusek, dr Jacek Skiba of the Polish Geological Institute − National Research Institute, and dr Piotr Kasza of the Oil and Gas Institute.

A main theme of the session was the large amounts of methane released from abandoned coal mines that could be used for energy production. One of the key items on the agenda was the presentation of two new International Centres of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane (ICE-CMM) established in Poland and China.

ice genewa

The world’s first ICE-CMM opened in Poland in June as part of a collaborative partnership between PGNiG, the Oil and Gas Institute and the Central Mining Institute, under the auspices of the Chamber of the Natural Gas Industry. PGNiG is a member of the ICE-CMM and an active supporter of its activities. The Centre will provide PGNiG with permanent access to latest research, information and documents on coal mine methane drafted or acquired by the ICE-CMM in the course of its operations, which will be an important source of knowledge for PGNiG. In July 2017, Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice-President of the PGNiG Management Board for Development, was appointed Chairman of the Presiding Committee of ICE-CMM Poland.

In Geneva, ICE-CMM Poland presented its action plan for 2017 and 2018. Translation of the document Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines is nearing completion. In 2018, ICE-CMM will draft its positions for the Global Methane Forum. Representatives of ICE-CMM China are to visit Poland, with a series of thematic sessions planned to be held. International workshops on coalbed methane drainage technologies and methods will follow, with a special focus placed on the challenges and opportunities associated with the development of CBM projects. The Centre will report on the progress of its activities at the 13th Session of the Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane in Geneva. Case studies will be developed concerning the implementation of the Best Practice Guidance in effective methane drainage and use in coal mines operated in Poland and other countries cooperating with ICE. The Centre will also contribute to the drafting of a chapter of the Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines presenting a case study on the management of abandoned coal mines in Poland or other member states.