The far-reaching impact of the shale gas boom in the United States has grown domestically over the past seven years and is expanding to the global petrochemical, plastics, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and other Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) markets through this decade and beyond. Further North American downstream industrial manufacturing expansion will be triggered later this decade as a result of the U.S. shale gas revolution. Continued advancement of the shale gas logistics networks and systems will be required to support the expansion.
The shale gas production growth developed from the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking starting in the Barnett shale in the 1990’s and evolved earnestly from the 2007 timeframe with continuous technology development to the current peak production levels. The on-going drilling and production efficiency improvements have positioned the U.S. shale gas market in the top tier of global cost competitiveness. Managed advancements of the associated gas midstream development were necessary to move and process the increasing gas volumes from the liquid and dry gas wells in the various shale plays held back the production and movement of gas to the emerging downstream markets. The downstream growth impact is now underway with early stages of the evolution and will be enabled by numerous new logistics infrastructure, asset and capability developments. In parallel to the massive direct investment in the petrochemical sector, likely North American manufacturing reshoring will be supported by the shale gas associated low cost materials and globally competitive U.S. electricity prices.
The full article, along with all maps and graphs, is available in Issue 2 of Shale Gas International Magazine and can be found on page 41.