Cen­tre asks cos to step up shale gas hunt

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Promit Mukher­jee —Reuters

New Delhi: In­dia is look­ing to ex­pe­dite dis­cov­ery ef­forts to es­tab­lish the coun­try’s shale oil and gas po­ten­tial and has asked com­pa­nies to sub­mit a plan, two in­dus­try sources said on Sun­day.

In late 2013, In­dia gave rights to Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas Corp Ltd to ex­plore for shale oil and gas re­serves. How­ever, af­ter years of ex­ploratory re­serves, it has failed to find sig­nif­i­cant re­sources.

In Jan­uary, In­dia’s oil and gas reg­u­la­tor Direc­torate Gen­eral of Hy­dro­car­bons (DGH) held a meet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous pri­vate and govern­ment com­pa­nies to urge them to pur­sue shale re­sources in the oil and gas blocks al­ready held by them, a source at the reg­u­la­tor said.

“The idea is to bring shale on the map of In­dia or just the ex­ec­u­tive said.

“A joint group plan is also be­ing ex­plored which will act as a plat­form of knowl­edge and in­fra­struc­ture shar­ing which could help in ex­pe­dit­ing shale de­vel­op­ment,” ac­cord­ing to the ex­ec­u­tive.

Cur­rently CBM gas is pro­duced by three com­pa­nies in In­dia - Mukesh Am­ban­iowned Reliance In­dus­tries Ltd, Ruia brothers owned Es­sar Oil & Gas Ex­plo­ration and Pro­duc­tion Ltd and Great East­ern En­ergy Corp Ltd. CBM is a kind of nat­u­ral gas which is found in coal de­posits.

Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas Corp Ltd also has CBM blocks.

Cur­rently the most promis­ing re­gion of shale de­posits is around the east­ern part of In­dia called as Damodar Val­ley basin, where the first ex­plo­ration for shale is ex­pected to start.

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