Govt asks companies to expedite efforts to establish shale oil and gas potential
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 officials said on Sunday.
In late 2013, the government gave rights to Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) to explore for shale oil and gas reserves. However, after years of exploratory reserves, it has failed to find significant resources. In January, 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 DGH official said. “The idea is to bring shale on the map of India or just close the chapter once and for all within three years,” an execu- tive from one of the companies who attended the meeting said.
India is a gas-starved country and imports almost half of its annual natural gas consumption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants India to be a gasbased economy and increase the share of gas in the country’s energy mix to 15% by 2030 from 6.5% now. All coal bed methane (CBM) developers were invited to the meeting in January, 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 Indian companies—mukesh Ambani-owned 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.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd also has CBM blocks.
Currently, the most promising region of shale deposits is around the Damodar Valley basin, where the first exploration for shale is expected to start. feed[email protected] REUTERS
The first exploration is said to start in the Damodar Valley basin.