Shale round in India

Vol 14, PW 8 (07 Oct 10) News in Brief

If you thought ‘shale gas’ fever was restricted to the United States - think again! India’s oil ministry hopes to launch the country’s first shale gas licensing round next year (2011).

PETROWATCH learns shale gas blocks will be offered in the Cambay and Assam Arakan onland basins, better known for oil and gas production, and in the coal-rich Damodar Valley basin. “More studies need to be done to narrow down the ‘prospective’ block areas,” admits a ministry source.

But he remains confident the licensing round can go ahead in 2011. “Much work is being done to carve out blocks,” he adds.

“The DGH is co-ordinating with Oil India and ONGC.” Our source adds that unfortunately the oil-rich onland KG basin does not hold much hope for shale gas explorers.

On September 21 this year, ONGC embarked on a shale gas exploration programme when Schlumberger spud a ‘pilot’ shale gas well for ONGC to 2000 metres TD in West Bengal’s Ichapur village in the Damodar Valley basin.