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Context: Cairn Oil & Gas has announced that it is partnering US-based Halliburton to start shale exploration in the Lower Barmer Hill formation, Western Rajasthan.
- The company is also looking to increase the recoverable reserves at its offshore assets by 10 times via enhanced use of technology, in partnership with Halliburton.
What is shale oil? How does it differ from conventional crude oil?
- The key difference between shale oil and conventional crude is that the former, also called ‘tight oil’, is found in smaller batches, and deeper than conventional crude deposits.
- Its extraction requires creation of fractures in oil and gas rich shale to release hydrocarbons through a process called hydraulic fracking.
- Russia and the US are among the largest shale oil producers in the world.
What are the prospects of shale oil exploration in India?
- Currently, there is no large-scale commercial production of shale oil and gas in India.
- ONGC’s assessment found prospects of shale oil at the Cambay basin in Gujarat and the Krishna Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh.