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US to help India form framework for shale gas licensing

According to reports, the US Department of Commerce is to provide “active support” for the development of a regulatory framework to govern India’s upcoming round for the exploration and production of shale resources.

This point figured in the discussion of a high level meeting of the US-India Energy Dialogue that took place in Washington DC, on Friday.

B.K. Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission of India and Steven Chu, Secretary, US Department of Energy (DoE), co-chaired the meeting. Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of US DoE, Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary of India, David Sandalow, Acting Under Secretary, US DoE, and other senior officials from both sides were present during the Dialogue.

The United States Geological Survey will also help India in assessing the shale gas resources in India, a press released by the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, says.

The US-India Energy Dialogue was launched on May 31, 2005, to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector, through identification of further areas of co-operation and collaboration, while actively working with both the public and private sectors. Five working groups have been set up under the initiative in areas such as oil and gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies & renewable energy and civil nuclear co-operation.

Four working groups – on oil and gas, coal, power and energy efficiency – met in the US on September 25 and 26. The working groups discussed a wide variety of issues including cooperation in electrical grids, cleaner fossil fuel, and energy efficiency; assessment of solar and wind resources, integration of renewable energy grids and testing of solar modules; export of liquefied natural gas from US to India, and South Asian Regional Energy Integration; and, 3-D Seismic Surveys, alternative technologies for mining deep-seated coal and lignite resources, and extraction of coal mine methane.

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