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ONGC starts exploring shale gas in India

26th November 2013

ONGC launches shale gas drilling operations in the state of Jharkhand, eyes exploration on a larger scale

Shale gas exploration
ONGC is preparing to explore shale gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) on a larger scale

India’s state owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has launched shale gas drilling operations in the state of Jharkhand with commercial operations expected to begin in 2014, The Times of India reported.

 

Narendra K Verma, director of exploration at ONGC, said that the company is preparing to explore shale gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) on a larger scale.

 

The Hindu Business Line quoted him as saying: “It (shale gas) requires horizontal drilling and well stimulation technologies to bring out shale gas in a cost-effective manner and it is being done in the US. Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) is used in the drilling process — a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped into the ground. Some of the dirty water returns and it has to be recycled.”

 

Last year, ONGC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US firm ConocoPhillips to jointly study the availability of shale gas at Cambay, Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, Cauvery and Damodar. Based on the studies, ONGC chalked out a shale gas pilot drilling programme at Campbay basin.

 

Verma added, “We have taken up a pilot project for shale gas exploration in the Damodar basin and later we will take up such projects in the KG basin, Cauvery basin and Assam. We have to assess the reserves first and then devise methods for economic exploitation of such resources.”

 

ONGC has the technologies to carry out horizontal drilling. However, the cost of exploring shale gas at this stage will be high considering the assets required for the production of shale gas.

 

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