Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ONGC finds shale gas in Bengal

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the country’s biggest energy explorer, has struck shale gas reserves in its maiden well in West Bengal. This is the first time shale gas has been discovered in sedimentary shale gas rocks outside the US and Canada.

“ONGC created an exploration landmark when gas flowed out from the Barren Measure shale at a depth of around 1,700 metres, in its first R&D well, RNSG-1, near Durgapur at Icchapur, West Bengal,” the state-run company said in a statement.

Though the well is still under assessment, the breakthrough is significant, as India is the first Asian country where gas was discovered from shale outside the US and Canada. “The well was drilled down to a depth of 2,000 metres. The Barren Measure Shale, which is the main target, was encountered from 985 to 1,843 metres,” the statement said.

Exploration of shale gas, an unconventional energy source, has witnessed a surge in the US and Canada in recent times and is making substantial contribution to total gas production. In the US, shale gas contributes nearly 17 per cent of total gas produce.

The R&D project, which involved drilling of four wells in the Damodar Basin — two wells in the Raniganj sub-basin in West Bengal and two wells in the North Karanpura sub-basin in Jharkhand, was operationalised with the help of Schlumberger. “The estimated expenditure is about Rs 168 crore and the total project is expected to be completed within 520 days,” ONGC said.

Source: ONGC finds shale gas in Bengal

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