Moily dedicates ONGC's exploratory shale gas well in Cambay

Petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday dedicated the country's first exploratory shale gas well (Jambusar-55) of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at Jambusar in the Cambay Basin.

Moily said shale gas exploration in the country held great prospects and the country can look forward to increased reduction of oil imports.

"We have carved out a roadmap, that in 2020, 50 per cent of our imports should be reduced, and by 2025, 75 per cent of our imports should be reduced, and by the year 2030 we should become energy independent," Moily said while dedication Rig No E 1400-VII.

"This step can bring real freedom to the people of the country. Mahatma Gandhi's land can bring real economic freedom to the people of this country," he said.

Moily said India has potential to become the third country to become net exporter of oils after the US and Canada.

"Shale gas, CMB, these are all unconventional gas. This comes with the latest technology. The US, which was struggling for oils, and its appetite for oil has several times driven them to war too. But now in six years they have become net exporter from net importer of oil," said Moily.

"Same thing happened in Canada. May be our country, India too will be the third country to lead in this technological war," he added.

Moily, meanwhile, ruled out any sudden and abrupt hike in the retail price of diesel and said the government preferred the phased deregulation of diesel prices.

"Diesel deregulation is fully on track. But we have no plan to do increase diesel prices in single stroke. There will be increase in diesel prices by 40-50 paise every month," he said.

Moily also expressed confidence that public sector oil companies will return to profitability over the next six months as diesel prices get deregulated and under-recoveries are brought down.