Shale Gas can emerge as an important new source of energy in the country. India has several Shale formations which seem to hold Shale Gas and oil. The Shale Gas formations are spread over several sedimentary basins such as Cambay, Gondwana, Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery onland. The Government has issued “Policy Guidelines for Exploration and Exploitation of Shale Gas and Oil by National Oil Companies under Nomination regime” on 14th October, 2013. Under this Policy, the right to exploration and exploitation of Shale Gas & Oil will lie with the NOCs holding Petroleum Exploration License (PEL)/Petroleum Mining Lease (PML) granted under the nomination regime. As per policy guidelines, ONGC Ltd. and Oil India ltd had to carry out Shale Gas and Oil exploration in 50 and 5 blocks respectively for assessment under Phase-I. ONGC is carrying out Shale Gas and Oil exploration activities in Cambay, Cauvery, Krishna-Godavari and Assam and Arakan Basins. Oil India Ltd is carrying out Shale Gas and Oil exploration activities in Assam and Rajasthan basins.
It is estimated that a number of sedimentary basins (Gangetic plain, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh & other coastal areas) in India, including the hydrocarbon bearing ones – Cambay, Assam-Arakan, & Damodar – have large shale deposits. Various agencies have made different estimates of shale gas and oil in the Indian sedimentary basins.
i. ONGC: 187.5 TCF of shale gas in 5 basins (Cambay Onland, Ganga Valley, Assam & Assam Arakan, Krishna Godavari Onland & Cauvery Onland.
ii. Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI): 45 TCF of shale gas in 6 sub basins (Jharia, Bokaro, North Karanpura, South Karanpura, Raniganj & Sohagpur).
iii. United States Geological Survey (USGS) has also estimated technically recoverable shale gas resources of 6.1 TCF in 3 basins (Cambay Onland, Krishna Godavari Onland & Cauvery Onland).
Further, USGS has indicated that these basins have also potential for shale oil.
On 20.08.2018, Government of India has approved the policy to permit exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc. under the existing Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), CBM contracts and Nomination fields to encourage the existing Contractors in the licensed/leased area to unlock the potential of unconventional hydrocarbons in the existing acreages.