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    Essar Gets Okay for Shale Gas Exploration in India

Summary

Essar's Raniganj block is in east India.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Essar Gets Okay for Shale Gas Exploration in India

Essar Oil & Gas Exploration and Production (EOGEP) has received environment clearance from the Indian government for exploring shale gas reserves in its Raniganj coalbed methane block in West Bengal, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported March 4.

The government of India last year tweaked the rules to permit exploration and exploitation of all types of hydrocarbons including shale resources under the existing CBM contracts. The government is of the view that this policy will enable the realisation of prospective hydrocarbon reserves in the existing contract areas which otherwise would remain unexplored.

Earlier, existing contractors were not allowed to explore and exploit CBM or other unconventional hydrocarbons in already allotted licensed/leased area. Similarly, CBM contractors were not allowed to exploit any other hydrocarbon except CBM.

EOGEP has approval to drill 20 shale wells and initially will drill five wells in the block to test the shale potential, PTI said.

The official said the company could spend up to $1bn developing shale reserves if the exploration programme was a  success.