India is looking to expedite discovery efforts to establish the country’s shale oil and gas potential and has asked companies to submit a plan, two industry sources said on Sunday, according to Reuters reports.
If successfully followed through, this development poses a threat to Nigeria’s oil export to India, which is a top buyer of the nation’s crude.
India has remained the single largest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil after the United States became energy sufficient on the back of shale oil production boom.
In late 2013, India gave rights to Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd to explore for shale oil and gas reserves. However, after years of exploratory reserves, it has failed to find significant resources.
In January, India’s oil and gas regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) held a meeting with representatives from various private and government companies to urge them to pursue shale resources in the oil and gas blocks already held by them, a source at the regulator said, according to Reuters.
Crude oil barrels
“The idea is to bring shale on the map of India or just close the chapter once and for all within three years,” an executive from one of the companies who attended the meeting told Reuters.
India is a gas-starved country and imports almost half of its annual natural gas consumption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants India to be a gas-based economy and increase the share of gas in the country’s energy mix to 15 percent by 2030 from 6.5 percent now.
All coal bed methane (CBM) developers were invited to the meeting in January, the executive said. “A joint group plan is also being explored which will act as a platform of knowledge and infrastructure sharing which could help in expediting shale development,” according to the executive. CBM is a kind of natural gas which is found in coal deposits.
Currently the most promising region of shale deposits is around the eastern part of India called as Damodar Valley basin, where the first exploration for Shale is expected to start.