Essar’s dream to boost unconventional energy in India

13 May 2019

India’s Essar Oil & Gas Exploration is speeding up its plans to pursue the exploration of unconventional hydrocarbons in India on the back of investor-friendly upstream policy reforms undertaken in recent years.

Hydrocarbons in India

The company’s CEO, Vilas Tawde, said coalbed methane and shale gas would figure prominently in Essar’s portfolio in coming years, as it aims to carve out a niche for itself at a time when India is making concerted efforts to boost the share of gas and clean fuels in its energy mix.

“Unconventional hydrocarbons is our prime focus and we are going to pump a lot of funds into that sector in India in coming years. We want to play a leadership role in that sector,” Tawde told S&P Global Platts in an interview.

Essar Oil & Gas Exploration, focusing on the upstream sector, was carved out by the owners of Essar Group after they sold Essar Oil which mainly comprised of downstream and retail oil operations to a consortium comprising of Rosneft, Trafigura and United Capital Partners at USD 12.9bn.

Essar Oil & Gas Exploration owns 2,500 sq km of CBM acreage in India, which comprises of the producing Raniganj East Block in the eastern state of West Bengal, as well as the exploration blocks of Rajmahal and Sohagpur. The company also has one conventional block in Mehsana, which has the potential to produce CBM.

Essar estimates that the blocks have reserves of up to 1.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent.