Only four countries in the world currently produce commercial volumes of shale gas or crude oil from tight formations – also called tight oil.
That’s according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which revealed the US, Canada, China and Argentina are the four nations, with the US being the dominant producer of both.
Canada is the only other country producing both shale gas and tight oil. China produces only shale gas and Argentina only tight oil.
There was an increase in output from the four nations last year, with natural gas and crude oil production from shale and tight formations growing at a faster rate than production from non-shale and non-tight formations, the EIA said.
“While hydraulic fracturing techniques have been used to produce natural gas and tight oil in Australia and Russia, the volumes produced did not come from low-permeability shale formations”, it added.
Shale exploration efforts are also underway in several other countries, including Algeria, Colombia and Mexico.
In the UK, the Environment Agency recently approved fracking firm Cuadrilla’s applications to explore for shale gas in Lancashire.