Development of Mineral and Energy Resources Mineral Fuels, Coal – Distribution, Petroleum-Distribution Part 2

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Mineral Fuels

Mineral fuels include coal, petroleum, natural gas, and atomic or radioactive minerals.

Coal

In India, coal is the primary source of commercial energy. It is used as fuel in industries, thermal power stations, and also for domestic purposes in some parts of the country. It is also used as a raw material in chemical and fertiliser industries, and in the production of thousands of items of daily use.

As per the assessment of January, 2005 the total coal reserves of the country stand at 2, 47,847 million tonnes. Unfortunately, the bulk of the Indian coal reserves are of rather poor quality. We meet part of our coking coal requirements through import. In India, emphasis is being laid on setting thermal and super thermal power station on or near the coal fields and electricity generated is supplied to far off places through transmission lines.

Production of Coal in India (including Lignite)

Production of Coal in India (Including Lignite)
Title: Production of Coal in India (including Lignite)

Year

Production (in Million Tonnes)

1950-51

32.8

1960-61

55.7

1970-71

76.3

1980-81

118.8

1990-91

225.7

2004-05

376.63

Source: India 2006, A Reference Annual, P. 276

Distribution

Coal in India occurs in two important types of coal fields. They are the Gondwana coal fields and Tertiary coal fields. Out of the total coal reserves and production in India, Gondwana coal fields contribute 98% and the rest 2% is produced by tertiary coal fields. The Gondwana coal fields are located in the sedimentary rock systems of lower Gondwana Age. They are distributed chiefly in the river valleys of the Damodar (Jharkhand-West Bengal), the Son (Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh), the Mahanadi (Orissa), the Godavari (Andhra Pradesh), and the Wardha (Maharashtra). Tertiary coalfields occur in the extra-peninsular areas which include Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim. Besides, lignite or brown coal is found in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and inland basins of Rajasthan.

Major Coal Fields of India

Major Coal Fields of India

Major Coal Fields of India

Jharkhand ranks highest in production as well as reserves of coal in India. The coal deposits of Jharkhand mainly occur in Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, and Palamau districts. In Dhanbad district the most important coalfields of Jharia and Chandrapura are located. The oldest coal fields of Raniganj are situated in West Bengal. It is the second largest coalfield in India. Raniganj coalfield stretches over Burdwan and Purulia districts. In Chhattisgarh, coal deposits occur in Bilaspur and Sarguja districts. In Madhya Pradesh, coal deposits are found in Sidhi, Shahdol, and Chhindwara districts. Singrauli coalfield in Shadhol and Sidhi districts is the largest in the state. In Andhra Pradesh, coal occurs in the district of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, and West Godavari. In Orissa, Talcher is an important coal field. Other coal field are in Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts. In Maharashtra the coal fields are found in the districts of Chandrapura, Yeotmal, and Nagpur.

In comparison to India’s coal reserves, the lignite reserves are relatively modest. The bulk of lignite reserves are located in and around Neyveli in Tamil Nadu. Significant lignite reserves are found in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Pondicherry, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Petroleum

Petroleum has often been called liquid gold because of its value in our modern civilization. Our agriculture, industry, and transport system depend on petroleum in several ways.

The crude petroleum is a mixture of combustible hydrocarbons in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms. Petroleum products used as fuel, lubricant, material for manufacturing synthetic derivatives, and chemicals required in industries. Petrol, kerosene, diesel, detergents, synthetic fibres, plastics, cosmetics etc. are important products derived from petroleum.

Distribution

Petroleum occurs in anticlines and fault traps. In India, it is found in the sedimentary rock formations. Most of such areas lie in Assam, Gujarat, and off shore areas along the western coast.

Sedimentary Basin Map of India

Image of Sedimentary Basin Map of India

Sedimentary Basin Map of India

The entire production of India till today comes from the Assam belt, Gujarat-Cambay belt and Bombay High. The Assam belt extends from Dihang basin in the extreme north-east of Assam along the outer flanks of hill ranges forming the eastern border of Bhitra and Surma Valley. The Gujarat-Cambay belt extends from Mehsana (Gujarat) in the north to the continental shelf off the coast right up to Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) in the south. It covers Bombay High which is the largest producer of petroleum in the country.

In Assam, the oil producing area is located in the Lakhimpur and Sibsagar districts. The oil wells are located mainly around Digboi, Naharkatiya, Sibsagar, and Rudrasagar. In Gujarat, the oil producing area covers Vadodara, Broach, Kheda, Mehsana, and Surat Districts. Recently petroleum reserves are discovered in the state of Rajasthan covering major areas of Bikaner, Barmer, and Jaisalmer and gas has been discovered along the east coast in the Godavari and Krishna deltas. The prospective areas lie in the Bay of Bengal, which covers the coastline along the state of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Production of Crude Petroleum in India

Production of Crude Petroleum in India
Title: Production of Crude Petroleum in India

Year

Production (in million tonnes)

1960-61

0.5

1970-71

6.8

1980-81

10.5

1990-91

33.0

2000-01

32.4

2005-06

32.2

Source: Economic Survey 2006-07, S-1