India: Durgapur shale gas well under assessment

By OGJ editors
– Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. is assessing the viability of a shale gas occurrence at its first shale research and development well in the Damodar basin northwest of Calcutta, India.

Gas flowed at an undisclosed rate from the Permian Barren Measure shale at 1,700 m at the RNSG-1 well near Durgapur at Ichapur, West Bengal, on Jan. 25, 2011. ONGC drilled the well to a total depth of 2,000 m and encountered the shale at 985-1,843 m.

ONGC said the well is India’s first to produce gas from shale and the first in Asia.

ONGC found many promising shale sequences in the Damodar, Cambay, Krishna- Godavari, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan, and other basins since 2006 (OGJ Online, Sept. 23, 2010). It decided to proceed in the Damodar basin because it already had coalbed methane operations there, the shale is shallow, and water is abundant in case hydraulic fracturing is needed.

The 17-month program consists of four wells, two in the Raniganj subbasin in West Bengal and two in the North Karanpura subbasin in Jharkhand.

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