Oil and gas exploration companies like British Gas and Essar Energy want clarity on pricing and gradual linkage to international price for making shale gas investments. After Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)’s experience with the D6 gas allocation, some also suggested the government should not have an allocation policy for shale gas. Other critical issues highlighted by the companies relate to land acquisition, water availability and handling. These companies submitted their comments to draft shale gas policy last month.

The government is looking to launch the first shale gas auction by December 2013 and is working on the policy that could be finalised by year-end. Hydrocarbon found in the form of shale gas has, over the past few years, transformed the energy scenario for the world’s biggest energy consumer, the US. RIL, India’s largest private oil company, has acquired shale acreages in the US.