India to Hold Shale Gas Auction by 2012

Source:

Indian companies are interested in exploring for the naturally available gas.

India announced plans to auction for exploring shale gas in the country.

According to country's Petroleum Secretary S. Sundareshan the auctions will be held before 2012.

Technology to extract gas from shale involves drilling multiple horizontal wells and using hydraulic fracturing to release gas from tight reservoirs, and has transformed the U.S. energy market in recent years.

While shale formations have proven to be promising, they are expensive to develop and environmentally sensitive. A handful of Indian companies are interested in exploring for the naturally available gas.

State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp had announced in September that it had drilled the first exploratory shale gas well in eastern India

Though India's shale gas reserves are not known, the government is assessing the potential for the energy source and is seeking data and technology from the United States, petroleum ministry officials said.

India's petroleum minister Murli Deora said the country hopes to clinch an initial pact with the U.S. during President Obama's visits in November.

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