* Indian explorers awaiting shale oil & gas policy to start
* ONGC to take help from ConocoPhillips, Oil India from
* ONGC plans shale exploratory work in 10 wells
By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI, Oct 4 India's Oil and Natural Gas
Corp and Oil India Ltd will tap the
expertise of foreign firms to hunt for shale oil and gas in the
energy-hungry nation, officials at the two firms said.
India, the world's fourth-biggest energy consumer, last
month approved rules for drilling of the unconventional fuel as
it wants to quickly tap its resources to cut a growing crude oil
ONGC will be taking technical help from Houston-based
ConocoPhillips for shale drilling, the Indian company's
chairman, Sudhir Vasudeva, told reporters at an industry event
ONGC plans to take up exploratory work in 10 wells in blocks
spread across western Cambay and eastern Cauvery and Krishna
Godavari basins, he said, adding commercial drilling would
commence next year.
India could be sitting on as much as 96 trillion cubic feet
(tcf) of recoverable shale gas reserves, equivalent to about 26
years of its gas demand, according to the U.S. Energy
The country, though, has been slow to open up the sector.
India has not yet formally communicated the new policy to
ONGC and Oil India, that have only been allowed to drill for
shale oil and gas in old blocks.
"I have given them (the exploration team) a target of 10
wells...The day the policy is announced we will declare the
first well is ready for spudding. We are all prepared," Vasudeva
Oil India has identified the western state of Rajasthan and
northeastern state of Assam for initial shale drilling and could
align with Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas, said S.
Rath, its head of operations.
Oil India and Indian Oil last year acquired a 30
percent stake in Carrizo's Niobrara shale assets in Colarado for
"We are planning to drill some wells. We may have a
cooperation between Carrizo and Oil India..we are internally
prepared," Rath said, adding his firm is waiting for the policy.