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Until a few months back, only those in the natural gas industry had heard about shale gas (more from But now, it will be surprising if anyone in the energy industry and related domains had not heard about it. From some quarters, I hear that it is a bit too early to sing the praises of shale gas as there are many unknowns, but well, it certainly isn’t hot air, that’s for sure. And of course, in the Indian context, things are beginning to pick up space as well. Reliance has invested in multiple shale gas companies in the US, and the Indian government is expected to undertake some serious explorations of Indian shale gas deposits as well ( see , , ).

It was thus good to see shale gas appear in the negotiations between India and the United States during the US president’s visit. The two countries have agreed to cooperate on energy projects, including shale gas and clean energy. Within non-conventional energy, outside of shale gas, the two countries will set up a research and development center for clean energy in India and will provide annual funding of $5 million each for five years, with matching investment from the private sector, they said in a joint statement.

Just to round it off, shale gas is not without its share of problems, starting with possibly unrealistic expectations of the ease of production to the pollution problems that it might result in. See some of these insights from the following articles:

Shale Gas—Abundance or Mirage? Why The Marcellus Shale Will Disappoint Expectations –

Environmental groups claim that chemicals used to release natural gas from certain rock formations are having a negative impact on the quality of drinking water and public health. –