ONCG to drill more wells in Cambay to explore shale gas

Following the successful drilling of the country's first shale gas exploratory well near Jambusar about 60 km from here, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has decided to drill more wells in Cambay region of Gujarat, a top company official said.

"ONGC had drilled the first well in Jambusar in the last week of October in 2013 to exploit the natural gas trapped within the shale formations located in Cambay basin, which is estimated to have a shale gas potential of 20 TCF (trillion cubic feet)," G C Katiyar, who took over as the Basin Manager of Western Onshore Basin of ONGC (headquartered in Vadodara), told PTI today.

The data from the first well near Jambusar has given ONGC more leads for further exploration that will help the company ascertain parameters in taking up commercial productions, he said.

The results of the first exploratory well will open a new chapter in shale-gas exploration in the country, Katiyar said.

ONGC has been spending Rs 2,000 crore per annum on the exploration of oil and gas in Gujarat and Rajasthan, he said.

ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva said that India has recoverable shale gas reserves of around 90 TCF, which can satiate India's energy demand for 26 years.

Shale gas is natural gas trapped within layers of shale rock and can be utilised as cooking gas and for other commercial purposes.

ONGC estimates India's shale gas reserve in the range of 500-2,000 trillion cubic meters.

The corporation has already planned to dig 30 shale gas exploratory wells across the country at the cost of Rs 600 crore by 2014-15.

These explorations are expected to be carried out in alliance with ConocoPhilips, a US-based oil company that is leader in shale gas and deep-water exploration.

Cambay is one of the basins that has been identified as potentially-bearing shale resources. But apart from the Cambay basin, the ONGC will also explore Krishna-Godavari, Cauvery and Vindhyan sedimentary basins for shale gas in the near future, officials said.

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