Even as fracking continues to generate controversy over emissions, shale gas is getting a long look from major energy consumers like China and U.K.
Advocates see shale gas as a saving grace to ween the global economy from its over-reliance on crude oil, which has been made expensive due to global demand and tensions in the volatile Middle East.
For North America, there rests solid potential for shale oil and gas development. Tyler Kocon, Covestor manager has developed an investing strategy suited to the changes sweeping over the U.S. energy industry, according to Market Playground.
"It is relatively well known that the potential output from the Bakken formation is unprecedented in relation to the U.S. energy industry. This remains an exciting area and we are still very upbeat about the potential here. However, it is also important to remember that other shale deposits like Eagle Ford have frequently been mentioned to be on a related level of production output. There continues to be an amazing amount of potential from this industry," Kocon said in an interview with Xavier Bremner from Market Playground.
Furthermore, China boasts dozens of exploratory shale gas wells. In a recent visit to the U.S., the head of Cnooc, China's offshore oil and gas company, said U.S. fracking was on "a scale that we rarely see in China," according to CNBC. "We hope this technology will be useful for developing shale gas in China."
However, there is reason to tread slowly with shale gas development in China as initial results have been mixed. Economic prospects for shale development were said to be "relatively poor" in a recent shale gas blueprint issued by Beijing. The blueprint also noted that many of China's shale resources were deeply submerged under challenging geological terrain, such as the heavily faulted Sichuan basin, according to CBNC.
Chinese shale deposits have more clay than the brittle "marine" shales of the U.S. making them less productive and more difficult to frack.
In the U.K., proponents say that developing a robust shale gas industry would increase job numbers for the British, whose economy officially entered a double-dip recession in the first quarter of 2012.
There are at least 250 years of shale gas supply to be tapped into for the U.K., according to International Energy Agency estimates.
"Shale gas is a product that can free us from the constraints of imported gas, and has the potential to challenge the worldwide demand on oil and hence will eventually drive costs of oil down," according to an editorial in This Is Cornwall.
In the U.K., shale gas is being hoisted as a solution to provide cheaper electricity and enable more secure energy.
by RTT Staff Writer
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