Shale gas could transform the global energy landscape and replace other fuel types thanks to new technology, says a new report by business analysts Datamonitor.
Sierra Highcloud, Datamonitor analyst, said: “Shale gas has the potential to radically alter the global energy landscape thanks to new technology that makes it cheaper to produce than other forms of gas. There has been strong growth in production in the US and this is now starting to affect markets in other regions, where the implications could be massive.”
Shale is a natural gas that is retrieved from shale formations and was previously expensive to produce due to its high density. However new horizontal drilling technologies have reduced costs. The shale gas revolution began in America and according to the report, is gaining momentum in other parts of the world, particularly China.
“The country’s gas use is set to soar, driven by rising demand and government policy, which aims to increase the role of gas as a primary energy source to 10 per cent by 2020. Currently, this would result in a production shortfall. China has large shale reserves so the ability to extract from them will be key.”
In Europe, Germany has taken the lead in promoting the skills and technology needed to boost shale gas output. Highcloud added: “In the UK, shale reserves are relatively small but the need to tap into them is fairly urgent due to its increasing reliance on gas imports. Shale is estimated to boost onshore gas production in the UK by 12 per cent.”