Ministry: Shale gas policy near for India

By OGJ editors

With a new assessment by the US Geological Survey in hand, India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is moving toward announcement of a regulatory regime for shale gas exploration and production.

Shri Jaipal Reddy, the petroleum minister, told the upper house of India’s parliament, the Rayja Sabha, that a shale gas policy might be ready by Mar. 31, depending on “completion of the consultation process with all the concerned authorities, including environmental safeguards.”

One shale gas well has been reported in India—by state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. working with Schlumberger near Durgapur, West Bengal (see map, OGJ, Dec. 5, 2011, p. 90). The well, RNSG No. 1, was shut down after encountering problems with casing, high water-cut production, and high surface pressure.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has directed Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd. to assess shale gas potential in the Damodar and Sohagpur basins, the ministry said.

In January, USGS published shale gas assessments for the Bombay, Cauvery, and Krishna-Godavari geologic provinces. Its mean estimates of technically recoverable resources:

• For the Cambay Shale Gas South Assessment Unit of the Bombay province, 924 bcf of gas and 31 million bbl of NGLs.

• For the Sattapadi-Andimadam Shale Gas Assessment Unit in the Cauvery province, 1.123 tcf of gas and 39 million bbl of NGL.

• For the Raghavapuram Shale Gas Assessment Unit of the Krishna-Godavari province, 4.08 tcf of gas and 90 million bbl of NGL.

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