As the focus on unconventional gas sources intensifies, the global shale gas market will be the key beneficiary, finds a latest report published by Transparency Market Research. According to the report, the production of shale gas worldwide stood at 10,138.2 Bcf in 2012, and will exhibit a 7.9% CAGR from 2013 to 2019, by which year it will stand at 17,201.6 Bcf.The report, titled ‘Global Shale Gas Market – Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2013 – 2019,’ states that measures to address the depletion of conventional gas reservoirs has prompted sizeable investments in shale gas exploration. The key challenges standing in the way of the market’s growth are the high cost of shale gas exploration and extraction and concerns about surface water being contaminated.
These efforts have already borne fruit with a shale gas revolution being seen in the U.S., which has put the country firmly on the path to becoming a net exporter of natural gas by 2017, marking an evident change from its status as a modest net importer. In the hope to emulate the U.S.’s success, countries such as China have also pumped in billions of dollars’ worth of investments into shale gas exploration.As of 2014, however, the U.S. was the leader in both production of and revenue from shale gas. The landscape of the global shale gas market, however, could likely see a shift in the coming years with many more countries showing massive potential for shale gas production with the discovery of new reserves worldwide.
As is the case with natural gas, shale gas too finds various applications, which include: power generation, industrial, residential, commercial, transportation, and others. With each of these applications needing more power with every passing year, the demand for shale gas from all application areas is expected to rise steadily.According to TMR’s findings, in 2012, unconventional gas constituted 44% of all technically recoverable gas. Shale gas comprised two-thirds of all unconventional sources. About 60% of all conventional gas resources occur in Eastern Europe and Eurasia and these regions hold 16.5% of all unconventional gas sources. An appreciable part of the remaining reserves of technically recoverable unconventional gas occurs in the U.S. and China, both of whom are currently net gas importers. The report states that although massive shale gas reserves exist in Europe, the stringent regulatory scenario will prevent the shale gas market from exhibiting dramatic growth.
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By application, the report segments the shale gas market into power generation, commercial, industrial, residential, and transportation. As of 2012, the industrial sector constituted the largest application segment of the shale gas market with a share of 30%, and is expected to rise to about 35% by 2019. Power generation is yet another major application segment. The report conducts an in-depth technology analysis of the shale gas market by studying techniques such as horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and water usage issues.With sectoral majors such as Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, BP plc, BHP Billiton Limited, Cabot Oil and Gas, ConocoPhillips, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, ExxonMobil, and Total SA investing aggressively in setting up new platforms and refineries and midstream activities, the competitive scenario in the global shale gas market will continue to see new events and developments.