Fracking in India? The country will begin shale oil exploration auctions soon
India will launch its first-ever bid round for exploration of shale oil and gas by December 2013, Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy.
“We are pursuing the development of shale gas in the country. We have undertaken the mapping of shale gas resources and are working to put in place a regulatory regime for licensing round in shale gas, by December 2013,” he said. Six basins, Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondawana, KG onshore, Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangetic basins, have been identified that may have shale gas potential.
Shale gas —- gas trapped in sedimentary rocks below the earth’s surface —- is the new focus area in the US, Canada and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs.
These unconventional deposits have raised estimates for US 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 “Fracking” techniques. In fact India’s Reliance Industries has invested almost a billion dollars in Marcellus shale reserves across the American East.