The Krishna-Godavari basin could soon become the new source of shale gas, which promises to provide energy for the next 200 years. The KG basin is one of the few places identified in India for the exploitation of shale gas. The potential deposits of shale gas in the country has been estimated at between 600 and 2,000 trillion cubic meters. Shale gas is a natural gas trapped within shale or fine-grained sedimentary rocks. Apart from the KG basin, shale gas is present in the Cuddapah Super Basin, in Andhra Pradesh, and other places across the country.
The city-based National Geophysical Research Institute and the Geological Survey of India have been carrying out studies to identify new sources of shale gas to boost the natural gas production in the country. Shale gas deposits are several times more than natural gas resources. Oil and natural gas experts and geophysicists, from different parts of the world, will converge on NGRI on Wednesday, to discuss the latest scientific strategies to exploit shale gas. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has identified shale gas, as one of the alternative energy resources, whose potential is more than two times the projected production potential of natural gas. According to NGRI, India has a large number of sedimentary basins with proven shale gas reserves and the oil industry has taken positive strides to exploit them. Blocks are being identified for detailed exploration and development in the near future.
Shale gas has been identified in KG basin Cambay basin, Assam-Arakan basin, Damodar Valley and Cauvery basin. The international conference at NGRI will discuss, among other things, the geological, geophysical and geochemical aspects of shale gas exploration, micro-seismic imaging, drilling, completion and production technologies and environmental hazard in shale gas exploitation. Shale gas is also found in “unconventional” reservoirs like coal bed methane, gas from tight sandstones and gas hydrates.According to a document of the Pandit Deendayal, Petroleum University, shale gas exploration by Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) at Raniganj, in Assam, showed encouraging results. “The initial results are encouraging but one has to wait for some more time to ascertain whether shale gas production is commercially viable or not,” it pointed out. However, IEA believes that half of the shale gas resources could be exploited.