Canadian firm seeks to explore shale oil, gas in Assam

A Canadian company has expressed its interest in exploring shale oil and shale gas in Assam, a statement from the chief minister’s office said.

Former Canadian minister Herb Dhaliwal, who owns East-West Petroleum Corporation, met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and expressed his company’s willingness to explore shale oil and shale gas in Assam.

“Dhaliwal, who was the first Indian-Canadian to become Cabinet minister in Canada, said his company wants to invest in a big way in the exploration of shale oil and shale gas in which Assam has huge potential,” said a statement issued by the chief minister’s office here.

“Assam has huge reserves of shale oil and gas. We have come here to explore and invest. We want to be partners in progress with government of Assam. We want the support and cooperation of your government towards this end,” the statement quoted Dhaliwal as saying.

The Canadian politician-turned-business magnate also apprised the chief minister that he has been in talks with Oil India, ONGC and GAIL to adopt state-of-the-art technology for exploration of oil and gas.

Gogoi said that he was looking forward to Canadian investments in sectors such as tea, oil, agriculture, food processing, medicinal plants and tourism.

Gogoi also evinced keen interest in the village development project taken up by a non-profit organisation from Canada in which Dhaliwal is closely associated in 20 villages in Punjab.

“We build up all the facilities, including sewerage treatment, underground pipes and sanitation in a household in the villages. It cost only 500 US Dollars say about Rs.25,000 per household and in that way is very cost effective,” Dhaliwal said.