‘Shale gas policy needed in India’

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) India needs a long term shale gas policy that is holistic and incorporates from the experiences of other countries on issues like gas pricing, environment and land acquisition, ICICI Securities said in a report on Sunday.

“India needs a long term shale gas policy, which has to be holistic and incorporates lessons learnt from the issues of gas pricing, environment safety, land acquisition, etc. from the experiences of other countries that are further ahead,” the ICICI market wrap said of the commodity that has changed the energy scenario for the US.

“Shale gas has potential but is not the silver bullet, which will resolve India’s energy crisis tomorrow,” the report said.

Shale gas refers to natural gas trapped within formations of sedimentary rocks.

Describing how the shale gas revolution in the US in the new millennium is the result of technological breakthroughs of more than three decades, the report pointed out how individual landowners in that country can lease mineral rights to their property, a right which landowners do not have in other nations.

“These mineral rights have helped to overcome the issue that has stopped operations elsewhere in the world,” ICICI said.

State-run explorer ONGC has estimated the country’s shale gas reserves at 187.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf), spread over the Cambay, Krishna-Godavari, Cauvery, Ganga and Assam and the Assam-Arakan basins.

“The exploration of shale gas and oil in India is at a nascent stage,” the report said.

“ONGC’s investments for exploration of shale gas and oil stood at Rs.79 crore till the end of 2014,” it added.

Extraction of shale gas is highly dependent on large scale harnessing of water, which water acquires additional pollutants, including radioactive elements, and much of the polluted water remains underground, the report said.

“High density of population and lack of quality infrastructure such as waste water management in many areas of the world make shale extraction difficult,” it added.

“Understanding the challenges around fresh water requirement, environment, natural calamities, investment incentives, land acquisition, among others, will allow policymakers to create a more robust policy for India, which will sustain over the long term,” ICICI said.

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