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Essar Oil mulling USD 1 billion investment to tap shale resources in West Bengal block

Gasoil News - Published on Wed, 20 Feb 2019

Image Source: ET EnergyWorld
Chief Executive Officer Mr Vilas Tawde told ETEnergyworld, Ruia brothers-owned Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production is planning to exploit prospective 7.7 Trillion Cubic Feet of shale resources from its flagship Raniganj East block at a cost of USD 1 billion. US-based Advance Resources International had earlier conducted a field study and has projected shale resource potential of around 7.7 TCF in the area.

Mr Tawde said in an exclusive interview that “We have already applied for Environment Clearance (EC) to drill around 20 wells as part of our exploration plan. We are also awaiting the mining lease to be amended at the state government level post which we can initiate work on the ground, which should approximately start in the first quarter of 2020.” He also added that exploration work alone would cost around USD 30 million.

The Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had on 30 January recommended amending the EC allowing 20 of 650 exploratory wells to be drilled for shale gas and has also recommended the extension of validity of EC for 3 years ending 26 February 2023.

Mr Tawde said the company has proposed collaboration with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEECL) and Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) who already have plans to tap or explore shale potential in the area.

The company said in its proposal that “CIMFR is planning 4 core holes jointly with National Geophysical Research Institute for shale gas exploration. GSI is planning one core hole as part of its internal scientific curriculum for shale gas exploration and we are proposing that ONGC may drill 2-3 wells in its Raniganj North block. As shale gas requires extensive data on a regional scale to understand the reservoir behaviour and mapping of shale resources, a synchronised effort by all the players in the area will be beneficial for everyone.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 20 Feb 2019
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