Looking for shale reserves beneath coalfields

Vol 18, PW 22 (02 Jul 15) People & Policy

India has not lost hope it can emulate the US shale gas revolution by tapping its vast reserves, estimated by ONGC to be 187.5-tcf.

PETROWATCH learns the Geological Survey of India (GSI) will soon begin exploring the Jharia coalfield in Jharkhand to assess its shale gas potential. Kolkata-based Maheshwari Mining is mobilising a 240-hp land rig to drill two boreholes at the 42-sq km Mohuda sub basin.

"The rig will reach its first location in early July," says a Maheshwari source. "Drilling will begin soon after." GSI, set up in 1851 and attached to the ministry of mines, awarded a LoA on June 5 to Maheshwari to drill two 1300 metre boreholes for Rs1.85cr ($291,00).

  Maheshwari beat South West Pinnacle to win the job. "GSI's mandate is to assess the country's resource potential," says a source at the body's Kolkata office.

We want to collect as much subsurface data as possible to understand the resource base." Maheshwari is free to drill each borehole up to 300 metres at its desired speed but after that must drill at a prescribed speed. "Our zone of interest begins only after 300 metres," we hear.

"We want to collect core samples for analysis from various zones and formations in the remaining 1000 metres." Maheshwari can drill a maximum 20 metres/day from 301 metres to 450 metres and only 10 metres/day from 451 metres.

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