Sunday, April 10, 2011

Over the last decade, production of natural gas from shale has exploded from .39 Tcf in 2000 to 4.87 Tcf (or 23 percent of total U.S. natural gas production) in 2010. This 12.5 fold increase in production shows both the rapid growth and absolute importance of the shale gas resource to the United States. As is often the case with resource development, shale gas production also has raised local environmental concerns, largely centering on the amount of water used in the fracturing process and the need to handle, recycle, and treat fracturing fluids in a manner that addresses the risk of spills that can potentially affect water quality.

These developments led the US Energy Information Agency to commission a report, World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States. Of the countries covered in the EIA-sponsored study, two groups may find shale gas development most attractive. The first is those countries that currently depend heavily on natural gas imports but that also have significant shale gas resources. These include France, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, South Africa, Morocco, and Chile. The second group is those countries that already produce substantial amounts of natural gas and also have large shale resources. In addition to the United States, this group includes Canada, Mexico, China, Australia, Libya, Algeria, Argentina, and Brazil.

So .... all indications are that interest in New Brunswick shale gas will only intensify.

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