India’s insubstantial energy security is under encumbrance due to rising crude oil imports, under developed upstream infrastructure, absence of clear regulatory policies on natural gas and over dependence on non-renewable (fossil fuels) sources as the principal source of energy. India is trying to diversify its energy basket by investing in as well as developing renewable infrastructure. But this is not sufficient for a developing economy like ours whose energy demand is rising exponentially. However, renewable sources can abide as parallel infrastructure but they can’t replace dependence on non-renewable sources. India is the fourth largest importer of crude oil in the world with approximately 174 MT of oil being imported (80% of its need). India’s gas demand is projected to augment to 470 mmscmd in 2016-17 from 289 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic meter per day) in 2012-2013. Presently, domestic production is at an exiguous 124 mmscmd.
Natural Gas is considered as the “21 century fuel” because it is a clean fuel. In recent times, shale gas, which is also a natural gas, has remained a debatable topic. It is the biggest energy innovation of the decade and has emerged as a “game changer” in the energy market.
A recent study by Energy Information Administration (EIA), USA has assessed 48 shale gas basins in 32 countries and India is one of them. This study has gauged risked gas-in-place of 290 TCF with technically recoverable resource of 63 TCF for 4 out of 26 sedimentary basins in India. Shale gas proposes a great opportunity for India to eliminate its energy demand-supply gap. India has several shale formations and preliminary exploration conducted has assessed four priority basins: Cambay, Krishna-Godavari, Cauvery on-land and Damodar Valley sub-basins. DGH has taken steps to discover other prospective areas for exploration of shale gas and acquisition of further Geo-scientific data.
To be continued…