India targets 'shale-gas era'
India and the US signed a shale-gas agreement during President Barack Obama’s trip to the country this week, allowing for the exchange of technologies to help develop new unconventional resources
Murli Deora, India’s oil minister, said the memorandum of understanding would help “usher in a shale-gas era”. The country plans to offer shale-gas acreage to explorers next year. The US Geological Survey will help to delineate the reserves. India’s Reliance Industries recently bought access to the US’ Marcellus Shale play and state-owned ONGC has drilled a pilot shale-gas well in Bengal. “We agreed to deepen our co-operation in pursuit of clean energy technologies, including the creation of a new clean-energy research centre here in India, and continuing our joint research into solar, biofuels, shale gas and building efficiency,” Obama said. The country wants to increase electricity generating capacity by 100 gigawatts (GW) over the next five years. Capacity in 2008 stood at 177 gigawatts, about two thirds of which is generated from coal, gas and liquid fuels. Electricity imports have been steadily rising, reaching 9.2 terawatt hours in 2008.