“Years” before shale gas explodes outside US

It will be “years” before an American style boom in shale gas and other unconventional fuels is seen outside of the States. That’s according to a new report which adds […]

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By Vicky Ellis

It will be “years” before an American style boom in shale gas and other unconventional fuels is seen outside of the States.

That’s according to a new report which adds to speculation about where the new resource will next take off.

In the USA the surge in unconventional oil and gas extraction has led to 1.7 million jobs and added $62 billion (£39bn) to federal and state coffers in 2012, suggests the new study by analytical firm IHS.

The report suggests this sizeable impact is unlikely to be found outside of North America any time soon, while the nation’s lower gas prices could spell a loss of competitiveness for rivals in Asia and Europe.

Daniel Yergin, IHS Vice Chairman and an author of the report said: “Major opportunities are being identified around the world. Our research indicates that the resource base in China may be larger than in the United States and we note prospects elsewhere.”

They’re  not likely to catch up soon though, he added: “Circumstances that promoted this development in the United States differ in important aspects from other parts of the world. It is still very early days and we believe that it will take several years before significant amounts of unconventional oil and gas begin to appear in other regions.”

Eventually other regions and countries with large shale gas and tight oil deposits will get their share of the “industrial renaissance”, suggested IHS’s Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh.

The paper called ‘Energy and the New Global Industrial Landscape: A Tectonic Shift’ also notes the boom in shale gas and oil has “reignited” investment in the North American petrochemical sector, while on the other hand it poses a challenge to the car industry.