India is 4th largest oil and gas consumer in the world after USA. China and Japan. Share of crude Oil and Gas in primary energy consumption is about 40.3%, which is second to coal which is meeting 53% of the total requirements. In recent years, natural gas has increasingly become the preferred option globally, as it offers clean and low price energy equivalence to expensive liquid fuel. Demand of natural gas in India was 179 MMSCMD during the year 2010-11 and it is projected to be 473 MMSCMD in 2016-171. As against this, the total production of natural gas from indigenous sources was 146 MMSCMD during the year 2010-11. Thus, there is an express need for availability of natural gas to be enhanced. This has necessitated the need to explore vigorously for unconventional or alternate hydrocarbon resources like Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Shale Gas / Oil, and Gas Hydrates etc. Unconventional gas resources are also natural gas deposits but in a different and difficult environment from the exploitation point of view. Success of the recent specialized techniques such as horizontal drilling combined with fracturing of the rock has led to path breaking development of Shale Gas as an unconventional or alternate gas resource.
In line with the policy of the Government of India attracting private investment to move towards self reliance in the indigenous production of oil and gas sector, it is important to have a framework to facilitate and regulate Shale Oil and Gas Exploration and Exploitation.
Government of India has invited suggestions from the general public, all stake holders, experts in Oil & Gas sector, environmental experts, NGOs, other persons and entities concerned, on the draft policy for exploration and exploitation of Shale Oil and Gas in India. The draft policy has been posted in the website of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) and Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).The comments and suggestions may be sent to the following address not later than 31.08.2012.
The Joint Secretary (Exploration),
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas,
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