India to auction first shale gas assets

Director General of Hydrocarbon (DGH), S K Srivastava India will launch its first-ever bid round for exploration of shale gas once the regulatory regime is in place, oil sector regulator, Director General of Hydrocarbon (DGH), S K Srivastava said today.

"As per the available data and studies undertaken, India has huge shale gas potential," he told the 14th energy summit organised by Assocham in New Delhi today.

"So far, six basins, namely Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondawana, KG onshore, Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangatic basins, have been identified," he said, adding that the offer of shale gas areas would, however, be "subject to certain legislation changes."

Srivastava said shale gas exploration needs a large number of units for drilling and multi-stage hydrofracturing. "The industry needs to take a call to meet such demand. We also need to develop a comprehensive set of rules and regulations to govern the development of domestic shale resources."

India has so far only explored only conventional sources of oil and gas except in the case of coal bed methane (CBM).

Shale gas - gas trapped in sedimentary rocks below the earth's surface - is seen largely as an alternative to conventional oil and gas in countries such as the US, Canada and China.