ONGC seeks to explore India’s unconventional gas basins

India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. is seeking approval for 17 shale oil and gas exploration wells along the east and west coasts of the country, according to news agency Press Trust of India (PTI). Citing minutes of a recent meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Ministry of Environment and Forests, the operator wants to invest $105 million in exploring the countries unconventional resource potential.

According to PTI, ONGC sought permits on 11 wells in Cambay basin at Mehsana, Ahmedabad, and Bharuch districts of western Indian state of Gujarat, one well in Cauvery basin at Nagapattinam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, and five wells in Krishna-Godovari basin in the East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, a state on India’s east coast.

If approved, this move would be largest push for shale exploration in the country but certainly not the first. GAIL (India) Ltd. spudded its first of eight exploratory wells in the Cambay basin in western India in March (OGJ Online, Mar. 29, 2016). Drilling began Mar. 27, and target depth of 2,500 m was expected to be reached by mid-May. The well was targeting Cambay shale and Olpad formations on NELP-IX Block CB-ONN-2010/11.

In its 2013 assessment of global shale gas reserves, US Energy Information Agency estimates India has 96 tcf of technically recoverable shale gas reserves.

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