ASANSOL: Union minister of state for petroleum and natural resources Dharmendra Pradhan has directed ONGC to speed up the process of setting up the country's first shale gas mine in Andal's Ichapur mouza.
Four years ago 260 trillion cubic feet of shale gas was found 1,170-metre deep, spread over 1,250 to 1,300sqkm. The reserve has the potential to meet India's energy requirement for the next 200 years.
A high-level meeting was held in New Delhi on Wednesday and the Centre has decided to take all steps to expedite the project.
"This was the third meeting on the project in the last 1.5 months. Our government is keen on extracting natural gas in Andal unlike the erstwhile Congress government," said MP Babul Supriyo.
"ONGC CMD and director (exploration) also attended the meeting and have handed me the necessary papers and map. We will be going for a joint spot inspection at Andal very soon," Supriyo added.
According to him, PM Narendra Modi will be briefed about it during his May 10 Asansol visit.
Shale gas is a game-changer in US (the only country to have commercial shale gas production). It has reduced the energy cost there by over 16%.