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The World Is Swimming in Shale

The World Is Swimming in Shale

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Published by Leon
The World Is Swimming in Shale
Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States

Nearly a third of the world’s technically recoverable natural gas and 10 percent of its oil can be found in shale formations, according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration. Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling, there’s a bounty of oil and gas available to countries around the world .
This report, which has a much larger scope than previous reports, bumped up the estimated global amount of technically recoverable shale gas by 9.3 percent. In its regional breakdown North America looks like a big winner. Of the 41 countries surveyed, Mexico had the seventh and Canada the ninth largest reserves of shale oil, while the US was second only to Russia. Meanwhile, the US, Canada, and Mexico were in fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively in the EIA’s ranking of the largest technically recoverable shale gas reserves.
The report wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. North America’s collective estimates for shale gas finished down 7.7 percent from 2011 estimates. And the news is worse for Russia, China, and Argentina, which have large reserves but also some tricky geology that will make it difficult for them to replicate America’s success in resource extraction. Moreover, fracking is very water-intensive and requires significant human capital to do properly; few countries have the resources and expertise to frack as effectively as America.
Further muddying the picture, many of these countries will also need the price of oil and gas to stay high enough for companies to be able to profit from its extraction. Many of these newly-discovered reserves may never be drilled, then. Estimates of technically recoverable resources are all well and good, but estimates that account for economic realities give us a more accurate sense of what countries can do with shale, and reflect the often volatile price swings of these internationally traded commodities.
Still, it’s clear that there’s a lot more oil and gas out there than the peak oil Chicken Littles were predicting just ten years ago. And as drilling technology continues to expand, the shale boom will become a more global phenomenon than it already is. In the meantime, America can continue to enjoy its newfound energy bounty. There is a lot more hope for the 21st century than the Malthusians would have you believe.

Some of the key exclusions for this report include:

Tight oil produced from low permeability sandstone and carbonate formations that can often be found adjacent to shale oil formations. Assessing those formations was beyond the scope of this report.
Coalbed methane and tight natural gas and other natural gas resources that may exist within these countries were also excluded from the assessment.
Assessed formations without a resource estimate, which resulted when data were judged to be inadequate to provide a useful estimate. Including additional shale formations would likely increase the estimated resource.
Countries outside the scope of the report, the inclusion of which would likely add to estimated resources in shale formations. It is acknowledged that potentially productive shales exist in most of the countries in the Middle East and the Caspian region, including those holding substantial nonshale oil and natural gas resources.
Offshore portions of assessed shale oil and shale gas formations were excluded, as were shale oil and shale gas formations situated entirely offshore.
The World Is Swimming in Shale
Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States

Nearly a third of the world’s technically recoverable natural gas and 10 percent of its oil can be found in shale formations, according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration. Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling, there’s a bounty of oil and gas available to countries around the world .
This report, which has a much larger scope than previous reports, bumped up the estimated global amount of technically recoverable shale gas by 9.3 percent. In its regional breakdown North America looks like a big winner. Of the 41 countries surveyed, Mexico had the seventh and Canada the ninth largest reserves of shale oil, while the US was second only to Russia. Meanwhile, the US, Canada, and Mexico were in fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively in the EIA’s ranking of the largest technically recoverable shale gas reserves.
The report wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. North America’s collective estimates for shale gas finished down 7.7 percent from 2011 estimates. And the news is worse for Russia, China, and Argentina, which have large reserves but also some tricky geology that will make it difficult for them to replicate America’s success in resource extraction. Moreover, fracking is very water-intensive and requires significant human capital to do properly; few countries have the resources and expertise to frack as effectively as America.
Further muddying the picture, many of these countries will also need the price of oil and gas to stay high enough for companies to be able to profit from its extraction. Many of these newly-discovered reserves may never be drilled, then. Estimates of technically recoverable resources are all well and good, but estimates that account for economic realities give us a more accurate sense of what countries can do with shale, and reflect the often volatile price swings of these internationally traded commodities.
Still, it’s clear that there’s a lot more oil and gas out there than the peak oil Chicken Littles were predicting just ten years ago. And as drilling technology continues to expand, the shale boom will become a more global phenomenon than it already is. In the meantime, America can continue to enjoy its newfound energy bounty. There is a lot more hope for the 21st century than the Malthusians would have you believe.

Some of the key exclusions for this report include:

Tight oil produced from low permeability sandstone and carbonate formations that can often be found adjacent to shale oil formations. Assessing those formations was beyond the scope of this report.
Coalbed methane and tight natural gas and other natural gas resources that may exist within these countries were also excluded from the assessment.
Assessed formations without a resource estimate, which resulted when data were judged to be inadequate to provide a useful estimate. Including additional shale formations would likely increase the estimated resource.
Countries outside the scope of the report, the inclusion of which would likely add to estimated resources in shale formations. It is acknowledged that potentially productive shales exist in most of the countries in the Middle East and the Caspian region, including those holding substantial nonshale oil and natural gas resources.
Offshore portions of assessed shale oil and shale gas formations were excluded, as were shale oil and shale gas formations situated entirely offshore.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Leon on Jun 12, 2013
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Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessmentof 137 Shale Formations in 41Countries Outside the United States
 
June 2013
 Independent Statistics & Analysis
www.eia.govU.S. Department of EnergyWashington, DC 20585
 
 June 2013
U.S. Energy Information Administration | Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources 1
This report was prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical andanalytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. By law, EIA’s data, analyses, and forecasts areindependent of approval by any other officer or employee of the United States Government. The viewsin this report therefore should not be construed as representing those of the Department of Energy orother Federal agencies.
 
 June 2013
U.S. Energy Information Administration | Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources 2
Executive Summary
This report provides an initial assessment of shale oil resources and updates a prior assessment of shalegas resources issued in April 2011. It assesses 137 shale formations in 41 countries outside the UnitedStates, expanding on the 69 shale formations within 32 countries considered in the prior report. Theearlier assessment, also prepared by Advanced Resources International (ARI), was released as part of aU.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report titled
World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial  Assessment of 14 Regions outside the United States
.
1
 There were two reasons for pursuing an updated assessment of shale resources so soon after the priorreport. First, geologic research and well drilling results not available for use in the 2011 report allow fora more informed evaluation of the shale formations covered in that report as well as other shaleformations that it did not assess. Second, while the 2011 report focused exclusively on natural gas,recent developments in the United States highlight the role of shale formations and other tight plays assources of crude oil, lease condensates, and a variety of liquids processed from wet natural gas.As shown in Table 1, estimates in the updated report taken in conjunction with EIA’s own assessment of resources within the United States indicate technically recoverable resources of 345 billion barrels of world shale oil resources and 7,299 trillion cubic feet of world shale gas resources. The new global shalegas resource estimate is 10 percent higher than the estimate in the 2011 report.
Table 1. Comparison of the 2011 and 2013 reports
ARI report coverage 2011 Report 2013 Report
Number of countries 32 41Number of basins 48 95Number of formations 69 137
Technically recoverable resources, including U.S.
Shale gas (trillion cubic feet) 6,622 7,299Shale / tight oil (billion barrels) 32 345Note: The 2011 report did not include shale oil; however, the
 Annual Energy Outlook 2011
did and is included here for completeness.
Although the shale resource estimates presented in this report will likely change over time as additionalinformation becomes available, it is evident that shale resources that were until recently not included intechnically recoverable resources constitute a substantial share of overall global technically recoverableoil and natural gas resources. The shale oil resources assessed in this report, combined with EIA’s priorestimate of U.S. tight oil resources that are predominantly in shales, add approximately 11 percent tothe 3,012 billion barrels of proved and unproved technically recoverable nonshale oil resourcesidentified in recent assessments. The shale gas resources assessed in this report, combined with EIA’sprior estimate of U.S. shale gas resources, add approximately 47 percent to the 15,583 trillion cubic
1
U.S. Energy Information Administration,
World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States
, April 2011, Washington, DC

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