Economy

India working on shale gas policy framework

India will soon launch its first-ever bid round for exploration of shale gas, oil regulator DGH Director General S.K. Srivastava said on Tuesday.

“As per the available data and studies undertaken, India has huge shale gas potential. Six basins, namely Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondawana, KG onshore, Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangatic basins, have been identified,” he said while addressing the 14th Energy Summit organised by Assocham here on Tuesday.

The offering of shale gas areas would, however, be “subject to certain legislation changes,” he added.

India has so far only explored and produced conventional oil and gas as well as unconventional sources like coal bed methane (CBM).

Shale gas — gas trapped in sedimentary rocks below the earth’s surface — is the new focus area in the U.S., Canada and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs.

These unconventional deposits have raised estimates for U.S. gas reserves from 30 years to 100 years at current usage rates. Shale gas deposits were not considered worth tapping before Houston billionaire George P. Mitchell pioneered new extraction techniques in the 1990s.

India aims to put in place a policy framework for exploitation of shale gas in a year’s time.

India has signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for knowledge-sharing in the area of shale gas.

“This (shale gas) will add up additional resources in our hydrocarbon resource base,” Mr. Srivastava said. “The government is formulating a policy for offering the areas for shale gas exploration in the near future,” he added.

On CBM, he said so far 33 blocks have been given out to companies for extracting gas from below coal seams. “CBM reserves to the tune of about 9 trillion cubic feet have been established in these blocks, having the potential to produce more than 5 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd).”


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:28:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/india-working-on-shale-gas-policy-framework/article2006549.ece

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