Great Eastern Energy Corp Ltd. (GEECL) has been tapped to lead an energy consortium that will work to extract coalbed methane in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, according to the Deccan Chronicle, a publication based out of India.

The surprise announcement, given by former Indian bureaucrat P. Murari, was made on Dec. 10 during a seminar organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Murari is expecting that the plan will benefit the region by creating a spur of economic development.

“The Mannargudi region in the Thiruvarur district has large deposits of methane in its coalbeds and we will tap this resource,” said Murari to the Deccan Chronicle. “An energy consortium, led by GEECL, will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the state for the commercial extraction of methane.”

According to the report, the methane that is extracted from Tamil Nadu will be transported to different locations in India through a pipeline network that is slated to be implemented by the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL).

“GEECL is an industry leader in exploiting coalbed methane and has successfully drilled more than 100 wells in eastern India,” said Murari. “The area currently has large deposits of coalbed methane which, if extracted commercially, could provide a spurt of development for the region.”

GEECL is expected to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the near future.