India invites U.S. to invest in its shale reserves

Minister Goyal in Washington
Source: press release, Embassy of India Washington DC

India would welcome the investment of US-based companies in the country’s unconventional hydrocarbons sector, especially in the field of exploration and exploitation of alternate energy sources such as shale oil, shale gas and gas hydrates. These were the words of India’s Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Mr Piyush Goyal (pictured), at the India-US Ministerial Energy Dialogue held on yesterday at the US Department of Energy, Washington.

During the Dialogue between Mr Goyal and the U.S. Secreatary of Energy Dr Ernest Moniz, the Minister reviewed the progress made by the six Working Groups of the Energy Dialogue and identified new areas for cooperation. They also reviewed various energy related issues agreed in the India – US Joint Statement during President Obama’s visit to India in January 2015.

Minister Goyal pointed out that India-U.S. collaboration in the energy sector offered great potential, in view of India’s enormous energy needs and the US’s resources, capabilities and technology.

He also stressed the objective of the Government of India to provide 24×7 power across India by 2019 by creating cost effective infrastructure which was sustainable and inclusive of clean energy solutions. He emphasised that India was committed to pursue a green path to growth.

One example of that is India’s ambitious plan for deployment of 175 GW Renewable Power capacities by 2022, including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of Wind, which may require investment of around US $ 150 billion in the next seven years.

Despite that, it was recognised that coal based power plants would continue to be the mainstay of India’s electricity generation source in the coming decades.

In the field of unconventional energy, it was recognised that India had proven reserves of shale gas and US had well developed expertise for shale gas extraction. Collaboration in the area of fracking of shale gas, especially waterless fracking in India were identified as areas of future cooperation under the Energy Dialogue.

Back in April 2014, Reliance – India’s largest private sector enterprise – announced its plan to invest up to USD 700 million in exploring unconventional resources in the country, which is estimated to hold 500 to 2000 trillion cubic meter of recoverable shale gas.

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