Selected international news from shale gas exploration and production industry
According to a report by World Resources Institute, almost 40% of the total world's shale gas resources are located in areas that are at a high risk of water deficit – informs gazlupkowy.pl web service. The deficit is a potential constraint to both exploration and production shale gas in these areas. Antarctic excepted, this problem persists in all continents – the service wrote based on the report. A water deficit risk is particularly high in China, RSA, Mexico, India and Pakistan. Also in Algeria, Libya and Egypt the conditions are not favourable. Twenty countries were considered in the report, including Poland where the risk of water deficit was assessed as low to medium - noted gazlupkowy.pl.
According to gazlupkowy.pl, four international corporations have expressed an interest in submitting their bids for unconventional gas exploration in Saudi Arabia. Successful bidders will join a shale gas exploration project located in Waad al-Shamal near the city of Turaif (northern Saudi Arabia). Saudi national Aramco corporation plans to produce under cooperation 5.6 Mcm of gas per day by 2018, at an expenditure of USD 3 billion.
BiznesAlert.pl website informs after World Resources Institute (WRI) that 60% of Chinese shal gas resources are located in water deficient regions. Accordingly, these resources are practically inaccessible today. Complicated geology is a problem, too.
The White House is about to prepare new regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal land. President Obama's administration is conducting the final consultation phase of these new regulations. On drilling completion, oil and gas companies will be required to disclose chemicals they use at public FracFocus website. As gazlupkowy.pl service noted, the new regulations are criticized by both oil and gas industry (which believes the existing regulations are sufficient) and environmental organisations (that believe the proposed regulations are excessively lenient). However, the service reminds that the new law will apply solely to the companies that operate on public and tribal land, while shale oil and gas production operations are delivered mostly on privately-owned land.
Is fracturing-based gas production a potential threat to groundwater quality and availability in California? A report by California Council on Science and Technology, commissioned by the federal government, addresses this issue. The report reads: “In California, hydraulic fracturing is occurring at relatively shallow depths and presents an inherent risk for fractures to intersect nearby aquifers”, but the authors note that there are no recorded cases of that happening in California. The problems mentioned in the report are specific to California. In other US regions shale gas resources are found much deeper below the ground – commonly at depths in excess of 1000 m.
Shale gas became a hot issue at the debate held before the referendum on Scotland's independence. Experts believe that Scotland holds large offshore resources of unconventional hydrocarbons. If fracture stimulated, they may produce approx. 42 Bbbl of oil and add even GBP 600 billion to the budget of the country. However, it is generally believed that it would be premature to give an estimate of offshore resources and their recoverability.
sorces: www.ekonomia.rp.pl, gazlupkowy.pl, biznesalert.pl, cire