India could soon turn into a potential shale gas destination. Even though the work has just begun in India, initial studies by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC) on reserve estimation of shale gas in some of the country's sedimentary basins such as Damodar and Cambay basin have revealed a resource potential of about 35 and 90 trillion cubic feet of gas.
This when compared with the existing gas resources in India such as the one from the country's largest gas field of Reliance Industries in the KG basin —estimated to hold some 10 tcf of gas — is indeed a massive reserve of gas.
ONGC, which took the initiative some five years back to explore shale gas, said shale sequences in well explored basins are found to be promising in Damodar, Cambay, Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basins.
"There are number of shale formations in each basin, the cumulative thickness of which are comparable or more than global best shale plays," said a senior ONGC official. "The resource estimation of all these plays together has not been carried out except the preliminary one for Damodar and Cambay Basin where it comes to 35 and 90 tcf, respectively."
ONGC said it has now hired the services of experts like Schlumberger for reserve estimation. It has also discussed the prospectivity of different basins with Ben E. Law, an international specialist on shale gas.
"Damodar Basin, where ONGC has its presence for coal bed methane, has been prioritised as the most suitable for detailed investigation and testing," the official said.
In the US, shale gas contributes nearly 14 per cent of the total gas production.