SHARE

Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) next month will drill its first well to explore for shale oil and gas.

The well will be drilled in the Cambay basin.

The Indian cabinet decided Tuesday to allow state-controlled ONGC and Oil India to hunt for shale resources in blocks held by them, the Economic Times said.

But a land acquisition bill favorable to landowners and local residents was passed by India’s parliament last month. It could limit access to shale sites.

“The new legislation, which is good for the landowners, may create problems because shale exploration requires large piece of land. But, the problem can be resolved if we make landowners as stakeholders,” ONGC’s exploration director, NK Verma, said during the company’s annual general meeting.

Verma said ConocoPhillips is helping ONGC with the shale project.

The cabinet vote this week blocks private companies such as Reliance Industries, GSPC and Cairn India from drilling for shale oil and gas, the Economic Times said.