NEW DELHI, April 1 (UPI) -- The Indian government said it is opening the door to shale oil and gas to move closer to energy independence.
"We want to get the process started to enable companies to at least start producing from fields where they're already drilling for conventional oil and gas," Indian Oil Secretary Vivek Rae told Bloomberg News.
The Oil Ministry in India said it plans to present shale policies to the federal government this month. The policies would give explorers the option to examine shale on existing blocks and possibly in sites set for later auctions.
"This is the first phase and we'll later open up more areas," Rae said.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set a goal of cutting the amount of oil and natural gas the country imports every year in half by the end of the decade.
India doesn't have laws regulating shale development though it may be working to duplicate the shale success in the United States, Bloomberg reports. U.S. Geological Survey estimates say India may hold more than 6 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas reserves.