Brief Summary, Prospect in India, Opportunities & Challenges
ABOUT SHALE GAS
Shale Gas is natural gas produced from shale formation that typically function as both the reservoir and source rocks for the natural gas. In terms of its chemical makeup, shale gas is typically a dry gas composed primarily of methane (at least 90 % methane).
Shale is a sedimentary rock i.e. formed by deposition of mud in consolidated form. During deposition of these very fine grained sediments, there can be accumulation of organic matter in the form of algae plant, animal derived from organic debris. These organic materials become a source of hydrocarbon which is known as Shale Gas.
EXTRACTION FOR COMMERCIAL USE
Shale Gas is abundant in the earth’s surface and recent technology developments have made it possible to extract commercially. The present technology involves use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of shale known as Fracking.
AVAILABILITY IN INDIA
As per the estimate, India is believed to have 300 TCF (trillion cubic feet) of shale gas. This is enormously larger than KG6 Gas which is only 7-8 TCF. The identified regions are – Cambay, Assam- Arakan, Gangetic Basin, Gondwana, KG onshore and Cauvery onshore.
Shale Gas only emits 50% of Carbon dioxide as compared to coal hence, it can be termed as ecological friendly. However, if leakages are not prevented during extraction then, there will not be any benefit on carbon footprint.
WHY INDIA NEEDS
The importance of shale gas in India is due to the fact that India has limited source of conventional gas reserve. The present production of gas is 140 mscmd (million standard cubic metres per day) which can go upto 220 mscmd during 12th Plan (2018). However, the gas demand is expected to be 290 mscmd in 2013 and 470 mscmd in 2018, hence, production of shale gas requires as serious thought. The beginning has been made by digging a well for shale gas at Durgapur few months back. Regulatory laws and guidelines need to be framed.
i)Requirement of vast tract of land
ii)Possible damage to the environment such as land contamination and sub soil water contamination
iii)Commercial success yet to be proved in India
Attached: Some photographs of shale gas extraction
SHALE GAS DRILLING ILLUSTRATION
GEOLOGY OF SHALE GAS