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Energy sustainability driving growth in shale gas production & exploration


Shale gas is generally explored at greater depth than conventional natural gas and thus requires advanced drilling technology, greater volume of fracturing fluid, and proppants for commercial production. As of year 2010, North America is the only region active in shale gas production, with some of the major basins as Barnett, Fayetteville, Horn River, Haynesville, and Marcellus. Substantial volumes of shale gas have also been identified in countries like Poland, China, UK, Australia and South Africa. Abundance of shale gas resources, enhancement in energy sustainability and benefits of cleaner burning fuel are driving growth in shale gas production and exploration activities globally. The negative environmental impact like groundwater contamination and chances of shale gas production being uneconomical hamper production, according to a recent report prepared by the leading market research firm, MarketsandMarkets. According to the report, the production volume of shale gas at 3,561-bn cubic feet in 2010 and expects it to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% between 2011 and 2021. The growth is the effect of upcoming production capacities expected to become operational in EMEA, Asia Pacific, and rest of the world by the year 2016 onwards based on current exploration activities undertaken by major oil and gas companies. The markets representing high growth rate from 2016 to 2021 are China (6.2%), Poland (6%), France (5.4%), South Africa (5.1%), and U.S. (5%).

Energy sustainability driving growth in shale gas production & exploration

 

Shale gas is generally explored at greater depth than conventional natural gas and thus requires advanced drilling technology, greater volume of fracturing fluid, and proppants for commercial production. As of year 2010, North America is the only region active in shale gas production, with some of the major basins as Barnett, Fayetteville, Horn River, Haynesville, and Marcellus. Substantial volumes of shale gas have also been identified in countries like Poland, China, UK, Australia and South Africa. Abundance of shale gas resources, enhancement in energy sustainability and benefits of cleaner burning fuel are driving growth in shale gas production and exploration activities globally. The negative environmental impact like groundwater contamination and chances of shale gas production being uneconomical hamper production, according to a recent report prepared by the leading market research firm, MarketsandMarkets. According to the report, the production volume of shale gas at 3,561-bn cubic feet in 2010 and expects it to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% between 2011 and 2021. The growth is the effect of upcoming production capacities expected to become operational in EMEA, Asia Pacific, and rest of the world by the year 2016 onwards based on current exploration activities undertaken by major oil and gas companies. The markets representing high growth rate from 2016 to 2021 are China (6.2%), Poland (6%), France (5.4%), South Africa (5.1%), and U.S. (5%).

Increase in ethylene production

The two major opportunities capable of changing the dynamics of the shale gas industry are probable increase in ethylene production volumes through shale gas and increased exploitation of new basins discovered in countries like Poland, China, and Australia for shale gas production. The increase in ethylene production volume is likely help in reduction of ethylene procurement price for chemical industries in coming years. It is estimated that 2.738-mt of ethylene will be available by the year 2021 produced through shale gas. The widely used technologies for shale gas production are multistage hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The major producers of shale gas are Chesapeake Energy Corporation (U.S.), Devon Energy Corporation (U.S.), Talisman Energy (Canada), and Nexen Inc. (Canada). The report points out that, it has become extremely necessary for industry participants of shale gas to gain expertise in shale gas drilling, increase access to shale gas acreage, establish water supply channel, and set up water treatment and recycling facilities to expand in shale gas market.

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