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Several years into the “shale revolution,” progress remains confined largely to North America. It is a viable question whether the shale oil and gas business will take off outside North America at all, or just at a slower pace.
The reasons for slow growth vary from country to country but center around lack of infrastructure, ownership rights, government and public support, an active service sector that can support the activity, and whether such production makes sense economically.
The growth in shale oil over the past few years has been impressive. Unconventional oil production in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford, and other areas has lifted output in the state of Texas to 2.7 million BOPD. North Dakota’s production, thanks to the Bakken, has doubled to almost 1 million BOPD. Total US production reached 7.5 million BOPD last year, a yearly increase of 1 million BOPD and, according to a US Department of Energy forecast, could hit 9.3 million BOPD by the end of next year, which would make the US among the top producers in the world.
With oil prices for WTI and Brent still around USD 100/bbl, economics would appear right for continued growth in unconventional E&P. And several countries have unconventional resources rivaling that of North America. Commercially recoverable reserves of tight oil could be double or more those of North America and the geology of many of those prospects is better, according to a study released last year by IHS.
Russian’s Bazhenov shale in Siberia has been called the “next Bakken” and initial estimates suggest it could be the largest shale oil deposit in the world. Shell and Gazprom have begun drilling the first of five horizontal wells there after several years of assessment. Rosneft and ExxonMobil agreed in 2012 to jointly develop the shale and will be undertaking a study to determine the commercial potential of the resources.
The Asia Pacific region holds 74 billion bbl of technically recoverable tight oil resources, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2013. The most promising prospects are in China, Australia, and Indonesia.
Most forecasts are optimistic about China’s prospects. It is estimated to hold the world’s third-largest technically recoverable tight oil resources, 32 billion bbl across the Junggar, Tarim, and Songliao basins. Growing oil demand in the country and a supportive government should encourage production. And the country is adept at using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling because of its abundance of low-permeability fields. Advanced studies and preliminary drilling by PetroChina, Sinopec Hess, and Shell have already taken place.
A state intervention model for shale oil advancement will help countries such as China develop infrastructure needed for development. Also boosting the country’s chances are the experience that several Chinese firms have gained working in unconventional projects in North America. JPT
Shale gas is everywhere. China's estimated technically recoverable shale gas resources, at 1,275 Tcf, are almost 50% greater than those touted in the US. Argentina, with 774 Tcf, contains 150 Tcf more than all of Europe. These numbers were spelled out in “World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment,” a study released April 2011 under the auspices of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which commissioned the study from Advanced Resources International (ARl).
China, in fact, ranks first in shale gas resources, followed by the US, Argentina, Europe, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, and Canada. Although the study is preliminary and excludes areas like Russia and the Middle East, there is no doubt shale gas resources exist in abundance worldwide. The numbers ARl arrived at are rough. With more extensive data and more time to assess it, ARl stated, the amounts would be higher.
However, Donald L. Gautier, chief of the US Geological Survey (USGS) World Petroleum Project, introduced a note of caution regarding the EIA study's figures. The USGS is in the midst of its own assessment of global continuous accumulations, including technically recoverable gas from source rock systems such as gas shales. Initial results from the first basins assessed will be released within the next few months. According to Gautier, the USGS approach, which is geologically based, probabilistic, and emphasizes application of well performance data from analog shale plays in North America, is quite different from that of ARI. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the results are as different as the methodology,” he said.
Shale Gas Economic Requisites
While shale yields approximately 20% (4.8 Tcf in 2010, according to the EIA) of US natural gas consumption, this resource has yet to contribute more than negligibly in regions elsewhere. Yet many countries, buoyed by and in some cases participating in US shale gas exploitation, appear poised to initiate shale gas development within their borders. However, with a lack of shale drilling and completion services, as well as gas production and transportation infrastructure, promising shale gas reservoirs need at least five to 10 years before production would be economic.
Middle East-North Africa region holds and appraising several prospects for Algeria appears well placed to develop significant unconventional resources unconventional gas: in the northwest, unconventional resources. Energy Minister and with rising local gas demand, operators the south Ghawar field, and the Jafurah Youcef Yousfi has said that the government have begun assessing the viability and Rub'al-Khali basins. "We are hopes for commercial production of tight gas and shale gas projects. "In the northwest, the in Algeria support the development operations due to the depth search is characterized by shale at shallow of shale gas. The western basins are of the resources and the enormous water depth.
Yuxin, Zhu (Foreign Cooperation Department,CNPC) | Chunmei, Ge (Foreign Cooperation Department,CNPC) | Bentao, Gong (Foreign Cooperation Department,CNPC) | Youlin, Sun (Foreign Cooperation Department,CNPC) | Chenglin, Liu (Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences) | Ce, Zheng (China University of Petroleum)
US shale gas revolution found out a new way for global energy development. In recent years, China paid more and more attention to shale gas. however, there are many differences between China and US, e.g. there are only more than one hundred shale gas exploratory and appraisal wells, no shale gas reservoir is extensively in production, and no matured procedures for shale gas resources appraisal, reserves calculation and producing ability forecast in China. With very different shale gas geological characteristics, standards and practices of US could not be simply duplicated to China. Shale gas exploration and development in China still has a long way to go.
To bring shale gas resources into production, we need to consider China’s situation and major challenges, i.e., the current recoverable resources and our understanding level of exploration and development (lack of critical technologies), clean energy and environmental protection requirements, high costs and low gas prices etc. This paper discusses how to realize shale gas development together with environment protection through analyses of the major challenges and supplies of shale gas resources in China.
Shale gas refers to the adsorbed gas or free gas trapped within dark mudstone or high organic shale. It is the result of gas accumulation within the source rock after gas is generated. Hence, it is typical self-contained reservoir. In recent years, the United States made great success in shale gas exploration and development with rapid growth of both reserves and production, which drew the attention around the world and made shale gas exploration and development an important fields and targets of the world.
With initial results indicating that the Middle East-North Africa region holds significant unconventional resources and with rising local gas demand, operators have begun assessing the viability of tight gas and shale gas projects. The following is a roundup of unconventional exploration and appraisal activities in several countries in the region. Despite its prolific oil output, Saudi Arabia faces challenges in meeting its economy's voracious appetite for gas to fuel power, petrochemical, and desalination plants. The country has begun investigating its large unconventional deposits and their potential for fueling long-term growth for its booming population. "Over 1.2 million sq km of frontier basins are being identified and deployed with the latest technologies to work with source rocks and tight reservoirs that are associated with the largest oil and gas fields in the world," Saudi Aramco said in a statement released in August at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, which was sponsored by SPE, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.