SOURCE: Zeus Development Corporation

Zeus Development Corporation

November 30, 2009 11:22 ET

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) Projects Proliferate, Finds Zeus Research

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - November 30, 2009) - Energy research and consultancy, Zeus Development Corporation observes a rapid rise in the number of underground coal gasification (UCG) projects in recent months.

"Greenhouse gas emission concerns are prompting power and coal-to-liquids project developers to find innovative ways to manage carbon," said Chris Cothran, upstream analyst at Zeus. "Most of the UCG projects proposed currently intend to capture and store carbon emissions either in nearby oilfields for improved oil recovery or exhausted coal seams."

Underground coal gasification offers a third way for producers to convert the energy from coal into electricity, the first two being traditional pulverized coal combustion and integrated gasification and combined-cycle (IGCC) generation.

"Both pulverized coal and IGCC plants require mining the coal from surface or underground mines, which is expensive and energy intensive," Cothran said. "If UGC developers can perfect their technology, the cost of mining and transporting coal as well as building the reactor for IGCC to gasify the coal will disappear."

In the past four months, announcements have been issued of advancements at six UCG projects. Developers include India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. (ONGC), Australia's Linc Energy, Carbon Energy, and Cougar Energy, and U.S. Gas Tech and Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CERI). Abstracts of these announcements can be downloaded from the syngas section of Zeus' Virtual Energy Library (http://www.zeuslibrary.com/Syngas/).

UCG technologists are boosted in part by announcements this month by the Indian, Chinese and U.S. governments to collaborate on clean-coal technologies. In China, Nov. 17, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the creation of a joint clean energy research center and agreements on cleaner uses of coal.

Then, Nov. 24, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington, the White House announced similar agreements with India. During the visit, Messrs. Obama and Singh launched an Indo-U.S. Clean Energy Research and Deployment Initiative, in part, to foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean-coal technologies. Earlier, a parliamentary body in India affirmed the country's need for foreign technology providers, investment for end-use facilities, and government support for UCG research and development.

About Zeus Development Corporation:

Founded in 1991, Zeus Development Corporation is a Houston-based information clearinghouse and consultancy with expertise in undervalued hydrocarbon conversion, including unconventional feedstock gasification. Details at www.ZeusLibrary.com.

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