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“A draft shale oil and gas policy was placed in the public domain. A shale gas policy will go to the cabinet in two weeks,” M Veerappa Moily said while addressing the National Editors Conference in New Delhi.
India can take a leaf out of China in this field, asserted the petroleum minister.
“China in these six years (2005-11) has made much progress in shale gas development. They have done it in six years…we can also do that,” Moily said.
Currently, India imports 79 per cent of its oil needs but the oil ministry wants to cut this to 50 per cent by 2020.
Emphasising the importance of shale gas if India is to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in its crude oil imports by 2020, the petroleum minister pointed out how shale gas exploration in six years had transformed the energy scenario in the US.
India is the world’s fourth biggest oil consumer while China tops the list.
The directorate general of hydrocarbons has taken steps to identify the prospective areas for shale gas exploration.
India’s shale gas formations are spread over several sedimentary basins like the Cambay and Krishna-Godavari, and onland in the Cauvery basin.
The commercial exploitation of shale gas in the country awaits the government’s shale oil and gas policy.