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In a move that may delay the introduction of shale gas policy, the union petroleum ministry may have to work on a fresh proposal and another round of consultations could take place.
This is because the finance ministry opposed the petroleum ministry’s move to allow existing oil and gas explorers to find shale gas in their respective blocks.
The finance ministry argues that this proposal is against the existing production sharing contracts.
The petroleum ministry, however, feels that this modus operandi would help faster exploitation of shale gas.
The other option is to hold auction rounds, which may take a couple of years more, as suitable policy is yet to be put in place.
Public sector explorer ONGC has already undertaken an experimental project to explore shale gas. However, it cannot go ahead commercially because the country does not have a shale gas exploration policy.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily is of the view that as in the US, shale gas can emerge as an important new source of energy for India, too.