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Current Scenario and Future Prospects of Shale Gas in India

Jain, Tarang; Sharma, Akash; Agarwal, Apoorv
Department of Petroleum Engineering and Earth Sciences, Univesity of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, India.

Unconventional oil resources are increasingly important in the quest for energy security. There is concern that conventional oil resources will be unable to meet growing supply requirements. This concern has triggered a scramble to secure long-term oil supplies. In a high oil price environment, unconventional resources are viewed as important and economically attractive components of future oil supplies.

Shale gas is natural gas produced from shale formations. Gas Shales are organic-rich shale formations. In terms of its chemical makeup, shale gas is basically a dry gas composed of methane. Various factors which have contributed to its rapid development are mainly advancement in horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and, perhaps most importantly, rapid increase in natural gas prices in the last several years as a result of significant supply and demand pressures.

India has high potential of shale reserves. According to sources, a comprehensive shale gas pilot project carried out in Damodar Valley basin, has made an initial gas-in-place estimate of 300-2,100 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in Indian shale gas basins which is around 300 times higher than Krishna Godavari (D6) basin, by far the largest gas field in the country.

In matured Cambay basin wherein more than 5000 wells have been drilled and initial oil in-place of the order of 1150 million tonnes have already been established. But for the first time, gas has been struck from Shale Reservoir of Middle Eocene section. The paper presents discovery of gas from shale reservoir thereby viewing Cambay Shales not only as cap and source rock but also as reservoir rock. This has opened new frontier for exploration and additional source of energy for the country.

With most of the conventional oil already depleted, industry hopes to increase liquid supplies through the development of unconventional resources. Difficult to manage unconventional reservoirs, though, challenge the ability to transform even huge in-place resources like extra-heavy oil and oil shales to supplies. The paper reviews the evolving plays and technologies that impact the development and future of the shale resources in India.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90155©2012 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Singapore, 16-19 September 2012