In a bid to boost production of coal bed methane (CBM), a Cabinet note has been moved with an aim to exploit this alternative fuel to its full potential, a top government official said here on Thursday.

"Both petroleum and our ministry had been discussing on how to exploit CBM. A Cabinet note has been moved," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on the sidelines of an interactive session at the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.

He, however, declined to divulge details of the note.

The CBM issue comes under administrative control of petroleum ministry.

Coal bed methane is a gas that is stored and buried in the coal mines. It is like any other natural gas and can be used as fuel. It has fast emerged as a clean fuel alternative for power production.

After allowing Coal India to produce natural gas from coal seams (CBM), the government reportedly was proposing giving licence to other public and private sector firms to produce clean fuel from their existing coal mines.

The government was trying to bring all coal mining areas held by not just CIL but other PSUs, joint ventures and private companies as well under this framework.

India has large coal reserves which may be amenable for harnessing of coal bed methane. Several blocks have been carved out and allotted for commercial extraction of CBM.

According to the directorate general of hydrocarbons (DGH), India has CBM reserves of about 4.6 trillion cubic metres.