Association of Oil and Gas Operators (AOGO) has suggested that a single operator should be given the rights to exploit all types of hydrocarbons in an upstream block. According to AOGO multiple operators mining for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons in a particular block would lead to multiple complications. This suggestion was made by the AOGO while commenting on government’s shale gas policy. It may be remembered here that the government had recently permitted ONGC and Oil India to exploit shale resources in 176 identified onland areas where they are either exploring or producing conventional crude oil and natural gas.

AOGO feels that as the conventional reservoirs normally sit above high-quality source rocks that are now the targets for unconventional plays there are many fields where conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons could be produced simultaneously. According to the industry association allowing multiple operators to operate within a single field simultaneously will pose significant Health Safety and Environment risks and operational conflicts. Also it may lead to conflicting claims to resource ownership subsequently leading to inefficient utilization of capital.

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