NEW DELHI, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- India might have more natural gas locked in shale deposits than conventional resources, an executive said as the first shale gas well was dug.
The Asian division of U.S. oilfield service provider Schlumberger drilled the first shale gas well in India in the Damodar River Valley in the east of the country, the Economic Times of India reports.
Energy analysts in India predict gas demand will double by 2015, describing shale gas as one of the best options the country has to meet surging demand. Natural gas provides India with 10 percent of its energy requirements currently.
Anil Swani, the vice president of Asian services for Schlumberger, said the shale gas was in the pilot phase and production was still about five years away. India, he said, has more than 600 trillion cubic feet of shale gas deposits, which suggests there is more shale gas than conventional gas.
Shale gas accounts for 21 percent of the natural gas in the United States. Critics complain the chemicals used to release gas from the rock deposits have a negative environmental impact.