Shale in India waste of time: ONGC

Vol 20, PW 24 (24 Aug 17) News in Brief

Anyone who thinks India can replicate the shale gas revolution in the US better think again.

Two ONGC directors have dashed hopes of a shale gas oilfield services bonanza in India by publicly announcing ONGC has lost interest. "Shale in India is bad!" declared ONGC director offshore TK Sengupta at an industry event in Delhi on August 12.

"When I say bad, I mean very bad." Sengupta's comments were echoed by colleague VP Mahawar sitting next to him. "Shale in India is different from shale in the US," added Mahawar.

"In India exploring for shale is difficult." If in doubt look to ONGC and Oil India shale activity on the ground. Of 50 planned shale oil and gas pilot wells, ONGC has drilled only 20, with mixed results; Oil India had planned six but has drilled only one in Rajasthan.

With its huge land mass and abundant water supplies, fracking in the US is an easier proposition than in densely populated and water starved India. In 2000, shale gas provided only 1% of US natural gas production, according to Wikipedia, but by 2010 it was over 20% and expected to rise to 46% by 2035.

Don't expect the same in India.

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