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Unconventional resources—specifically shale gas, tight gas, shale oil and tight oil—have revolutionized the energy landscape in the United States, using new technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to access previously unavailable reserves. America’s success with unconventional resources has prompted many to consider whether other countries that show similar promise will also be successful in developing their unconventional resources—and if so, where and how fast.
We compare the potential of nine basins around the world using eight critical factors:
In terms of the overall outlook for international shale resource development, we anticipate that:
Shale gas and tight oil resources outside of the US and Canada will take between five and ten years to develop, given the eight factors examined
All eight factors need to amenable to successful development, and issues in any single factor can delay or even prevent development
Regulators need to support the progression of all eight factors, not just the local fiscal regimes
Markets with tight oil (like Argentina) have a higher likelihood of developing unconventional resources operations in the current environment
In many markets, eg. China and Poland, the effort to adapt technologies to local characteristics can be significant
Although Argentina is the most promising market today, this may change depending on how other markets address the eight factors; for example, Australia, the UK and Saudi Arabia could all advance quickly.
Melissa Stark, global managing director of Accenture’s new energy business. Melissa has more than 20 years of experience working across all sectors of the energy industry and focuses on R&D/technology, investment and supply chain. Melissa is a sought after author and speaker on the sustainable development of unconventional energy resources as well as the development of alternative energy sources.
June 11, 2014
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