UNCONVENTIONAL GAS RESOURCES TRANSFORMING THE WORLD’S ENERGY LANDSCAPE
6 June, 2012 - The shale gas revolution in the United States has been described as a game changer, especially in the light of growing climate change concerns. These developments have sparked intense activity across the world, with many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America starting to assess their own shale gas resources.
However, despite predictions that shale gas, along with other unconventional gas resources, is transforming the world"s energy landscape, it is still widely misunderstood. Recent skepticism and misconceptions concerning the shale gas fracking process, in terms of water contamination and methane emissions have even led some countries such as France and South Africa, to impose a moratorium on shale gas development.
In response to these common misconceptions, the International Gas Union (IGU) has initiated a project to publish a report on "Myths vs Facts on Shale Gas," which will attempt to educate the industry about the production and distribution of this unconventional gas resource.
The report was presented at the 25th World Gas Conference (WGC2012) led by Michelle George, Union Gas" Director of Engineering Planning and Support. It receives the support of IGU members from across the globe, and aims to capture current facts, figures and regulatory information.
"The report aims to clear common myths and misconceptions which have led some unconventional gas developments to be put on hold," said Mr Ho Sook Wah, Chairman, Coordination Committee 2009-2012, International Gas Union.
"As the voice of the industry, the IGU hopes that this information will provide greater transparency and spur healthy discussions, thus furthering the exploration and utilisation of gas across the entire value chain," Mr Ho continued.
Myths vs Facts: The truth unfolds.
The following are some examples of what will be covered in the report:
Myth 1: Chemicals used in fracking are held secret.
Truth: Chemicals used in shale gas exploration are clearly documented under a combination of local regulations and via the EU regulatory body the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). Regulatory bodies including the National Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry in the United States and across the world are following suit in promoting 100% transparency of fracking fluid.
Myth 2: Shale uses a lot of water.
Truth: Water usage has to be benchmarked against current water consumption patterns - for example, the entire volume of water used at the Cuadrilla Resources" well in Lancashire, UK is less than half of the water lost through leaking pipes in Manchester every two days.
The 18,000 cubic metres of water needed for drilling a well with a life span of up to ten years is equal to the volume used to irrigate a three hectare corn field in one season or an 18-hole golf course in one month.
The 25th World Gas Conference (WGC2012), to be held 4-8 June, 2012, in Kuala Lumpur will bring together energy experts in a panel session to analyse the impact of unconventional gas development and how it is changing the competitive dynamics of the globalised gas market and international politics.
Moderated by Torstein Indrebo, Secretary General of the IGU, the Strategic Panel on "Unconventional Gas: A Game Changer or a Global Bubble?" will also address barriers, risks and opportunities that will impact the future global gas market.
In recent years, North America has taken the lead on unprecedented developments in the natural gas industry. The region not only hosts the largest natural gas markets in the world, but it is also reshaping itself and setting new trends worldwide.
Chaired by James Tiflon of Repsol, the "Natural gas markets in North America: what's next?" session, organized by PGCC, discusses the key market drivers in North America. A selected group of speakers will participate in promoting an in-depth debate on key drivers and trends for the North American natural gas markets. Topics of interest will include the business environment, shale gas, the role of LNG in North America and the use of natural gas in transportation, industrial plants and power generation. The session will also address emerging issues and challenges in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and their interaction with other markets around the world. Additionally, it will present strategic options for the development of natural gas businesses.