World shale gas market to reach 17,201.6 Bcf by 2019 – new research shows

Shale gas well
Source:, author K.A.

According to a new Transparency Market Research paper, shale gas production was 10,138.2 Bcf in 2012 and is expected to reach 17,201.6 Bcf by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2013 to 2019.

The increasing demand for energy and regularly depleting reservoirs have forced the world to focus on unconventional sources of energy. A major revolution in this sector started with shale gas production. The success of shale gas in North America has motivated other countries such as China to invest in it. The U.S. dominates the shale gas market in terms of production as well as revenue. However, cost of production and contamination of surface water are expected to hinder the market growth in the near future.

Shale gas is used in various applications such as industrial, power generation, commercial, residential, and transportation in the same way as conventional natural gas. Hence increasing demand from these applications is expected to drive the production of shale gas; especially in the U.S. and Canada. Focus on decreasing dependability on conventional gas sources has been primarily driving the growth of shale gas. High investment by Asian companies in shale plays and collaboration with foreign players are factors propelling growth in this market. However, high production costs and excessive utilization of water are expected to hinder market growth.

Abundant availability of technically recoverable reserves and rapid exploration and development of shale gas, mainly in North America, is proving to be advantageous for petrochemical producers, as this brings down their raw material and energy costs reducing reliance on natural resources.

Unconventional gas accounted for 44% of the total technically recoverable gas until 2012 and shale gas represented two-thirds of the unconventional sources. Eastern Europe and Eurasia accounted for over 60% of conventional gas resources and nearly 16.5% of unconventional gas sources. A large part of the world’s remaining technically recoverable unconventional gas lies in regions that are presently net gas importers such as China and the U.S. Technological advances like hydraulic fracturing and soaring gas prices led to the growth of unconventional gases in North America. Hence, the global energy supply is expected to shift in the near future. Europe has substantial amounts of shale gas reserves but public opposition and regulatory regimes are expected to hamper the market growth. A few countries such as Algeria, Mexico, and Argentina also have large shale gas potential.

Access the full report on the Transparency Market Research website.

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