Global Shale Gas Potential

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 19 Apr 2011 12:32
Tags: eia shale

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I missed this when it came out, so I am a little late, but the EIA has an interesting report out about global shale gas.

To gain a better understanding of the potential of international shale gas resources, EIA commissioned an external consultant, Advanced Resources International, Inc. (ARI), to develop an initial set of shale gas resource assessments.

Whilst they study makes a large number of assumptions, and will no doubt prove to be found wanting in many aspects, the results are none the less interesting.

The largest shale gas potential is in China. An estimated 1,275 trillion cubic feet of Technically Recoverable Shale Gas Resources, puts it way ahead of the USA on only 862 trillion cubic feet. Given that China uses such a small amount of gas currently, availability of such domestic resources, could massively change their fuel mix.

Other stand outs include Argentina whose 774 trillion cubic feet of resources puts it up there with the USA, whilst Mexico is not far behind. Meanwhile South Africa has the largest potential in Africa with 485 trillion cubic feet.

European nations are less well endowed, but Poland and France lead the pack, with about 150 & 100 years of supply respectively. If the figures for France are anything like realistic, it would be a windfall for a country with almost no domestic gas production.

These resources have the potential to completely redraw the energy map, and to move consumption away from dirty coal to clean gas. Bear in mind that both the UK and Germany used more gas in 2009 than China, largely because of access to gas volumes.

It is no wonder that there has been a "gold rush" as companies from around the world snap up USA based shale gas players. Once they learn the way its done, the payoff back home could be enormous.

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