Energy reform rollout to embrace shale, CBM
After unleashing a frontal attack on subsidies and increasing the pricing freedom of oil companies, the government is set to unwrap key policy initiatives this month with a view to augmenting the country’s energy security.
These include a new policy to attract investors to shale gas — a relatively new energy source successfully tapped by the US and Canada — and a potentially more remunerative regime for investors in coal bed methane (CBM) blocks.
Speaking at the Express Group’s Idea Exchange programme on Wednesday, oil minister M Veerappa Moily said: “Both the shale gas policy and the revised CBM policy are ready. We will be taking the former to the Cabinet for clearance in the next 15 days and the latter, within a week.”
The policy focus on energy security will also see a more aggressive yet focused foray by government-owned oil companies to acquire hydrocarbon assets in Africa as well as the South and North American continents.
“Our oil import bill has reached a whopping $140 billion. This is not a happy situation. With these policy initiatives, we hope to reduce our import dependence by 75% by 2025,” Moily said.
According to the oil ministry, the country has a potential resource base in the range of 300-1,200 trillion cubic metres of shale gas and 92 trillion cubic feet for CBM. The government has identified six basins — the Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondwana, KG onshore, Cauvery onshore and the Indo-Gangetic basins for carving out
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