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Shale Gas Development in India: Challenges, Legal Regulations and Way Forward

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Unconventional Shale Gas Exploration and Exploitation

Part of the book series: Advances in Oil and Gas Exploration & Production ((AOGEP))

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The remarkable surge in shale gas production in the US has sparked global interest in unconventional gas sources. Shale gas, which accounted for a mere fraction of production in the US in 2000, has rapidly grown to comprise 23% of total production by 2010, projected to reach nearly half by 2035. This trend has spurred India’s own exploration of unconventional resources, spurred by policy reforms like the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) and Open Acreage Licensing Program (OLAP) from 2015 to 18. India’s growing natural gas consumption and diminishing conventional reservoirs have urged a shift toward unconventional options. The appeal of natural gas, being an environmentally cleaner energy source, is rising significantly. As natural gas imports increase due to economic growth, it's crucial for India to focus on developing alternate resources like shale gas and oil. The recent surge in hydrocarbon prices has highlighted the need to strengthen India’s economic resilience. Potential shale gas reserves exist in sedimentary basins across Gujarat, K-G, Cauvery, Assam, and Rajasthan. To tap into this potential, India must establish an industry ecosystem aligned with advanced drilling and hydrofracking techniques from the US. This includes horizontal drilling, hydrofracturing, and advanced seismic imaging that have propelled the shale gas boom in the US. This chapter outlines India's challenges while drawing insights from the unconventional industry in the US, Canada, and China. It emphasizes building infrastructure for shale gas, addressing freshwater availability, horizontal drilling techniques, hydrofracking impacts, and pollution control. Recycling of water and chemicals, as well as efficient gas transportation, are examined. Additionally, the paper delves into policy, legal status, and reforms within India’s unconventional sector. As the world shifts towards cleaner energy, understanding the challenges and regulations surrounding shale gas development is crucial for India’s energy security and economic growth.

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Correspondence to Gagandeep Kaur .

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Tyagi, A.K., Kaur, G. (2024). Shale Gas Development in India: Challenges, Legal Regulations and Way Forward. In: Boruah, A., Verma, S., Ganguli, S.S. (eds) Unconventional Shale Gas Exploration and Exploitation. Advances in Oil and Gas Exploration & Production. Springer, Cham.

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