ONGC Spuds First Shale Gas Well in India

Continuing its untiring efforts to explore natural hydrocarbons in unconventional reservoirs, ONGC has ventured into Shale Gas exploration by spudding the first Shale Gas well RNSG-1 in Ichapur village near Durgapur in Burdwan District of West Bengal on September 21, 2010. The well is targeted to a depth of 2000 mts and will be assessing the Shale Gas potential of about 700 mts thick shale. of Permian age which is about 250 to 300 million years old. As its R&D efforts, ONGC plans to drill three more wells in Damodar Valley by end of XI Plan.

Shale gas exploration is a new entrant in the unconventional hydrocarbon resource in India. The fact that India has large basinal areas with thick shale facies, and the recent advances in the Shale gas business in the western world has impelled Shale gas exploration in ONGC. A systematic approach was therefore initiated by ONGC in 2006 to identify characterize and prioritize some of the Indian basins in the promising basins which prima facie appear to be interesting from Shale Gas point of view drawing analogy from US basins. Based on gas content measurements in major shale sequences, geochemical parameters, logistics and depth considerations, Damodar and Cambay basins were identified as priority areas.

Presently ONGC has worked out a comprehensive shale gas pilot execution program to test flow the shale gas in the field and learn about proprietary technologies, initially in the Damodar Valley basins. The beginning has been made with the spudding of the first well. The contract has been awarded to M/s Schlumberger and the results of this well is expected by October 30, 2010.