Mumbai: India is likely to sign an accord with the US for shale gas technology cooperation during President Barack Obama’s visit next month.
“We are trying for some cooperation agreement to be signed during the visit of President Obama,” oil minister Murli Deora said.
India does not have technology to exploit shale gas, an unconventional gas trapped in sedimentary rocks and the US is a pioneer in the field.
Oil secretary S Sundareshan said the policy framework for shale gas is being formulated and the first round of auction will be before the end of 2011.
India intends to see a boom in shale-gas exploration that has fuelled more than $39 billion acquisitions in the US by companies, including Reliance Industries.
Since production of shale gas is difficult, a new fiscal regime would be needed and exploration laws changed to allow such production, he said, adding current exploration licences for oil and gas don’t include unconventional sources.