The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), on Tuesday, approved the shale gas and oil exploration programme to be executed by national oil companies (NOCs) on acreages under the nomination regime.

This policy will allow NOCs to carry out exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydro-carbon resources, particularly shale gas and oil, in their already awarded onland petroleum exploration licence/petroleum mining lease (PEL/PML) acreages under the nomination regime.

The terms and conditions for guiding these activities are laid down in this policy, an official statement said here.

The NOCs shall apply for grant of shale gas and oil rights in their interested PEL/PML acreages, and are required to undertake a mandatory minimum work programme.

A company is permitted three assessment phases of a maximum period of three years each. Royalty, cess and taxes would be payable at par with conventional oil/gas being produced from the respective areas.

It is well acknowledged that production requirements and profile for shale oil and gas were different from conventional gas and oil.

In view of this and due to the fact that the technologies required for production have been developed in the recent past, it was felt that a policy be put in place to achieve early development of these resources and to address issues arising out of E&P activities in shale gas and oil.

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