BP Forecasts Increase in Production of Shale Oil and Gas

From Azer News

By Gulgiz Dadashova

The share of shale oil in the total global production will reach 9 percent by 2020, BP Senior Economist Lev Freinkman says.

Freinkman said while presenting BP’s “Energy Outlook by 2030” in Baku on Wednesday that the growth in production volume will account for shale oil which will be produced in the United States. As early as this year, the U.S. will take the lead in the world in terms of production and will retain its position in the next decade.

As for shale gas production, Freinkman said that by 2030 the share of shale gas in total global production will reach 18 percent, with the U.S. share in the total output amounting to 75 percent.

Freinkman said that currently only 2.5 percent of the world’s countries are able to set up production of shale oil and gas.

“These are the U.S., Russia, Canada and China, although many countries have resources. Such a situation is linked with a need for specialists on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, drilling of a large number of wells. Also, there are land-based factors, including political, environmental and other aspects,” Freinkman said.

He said that by 2030 the volume of U.S. gas exports is projected to stand at 80 billion cubic meters per year. As for growth in gas demand, Freinkman stressed available forecasts on an increase in consumption by China and consequently, an increase in imports of gas by this country. According to the projections, by 2030 China’s gas imports will reach 150 billion cubic meters per year from the current 50-60 billion cubic meters.

The rise of shale gas and oil has recently been the single major event in the world of energy, which will have a lasting impact for years to come. While shale production efforts have been around for decades in the United States, in recent years new studies and discoveries in other parts of the world have been changing the global energy landscape.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) believes that shale oil (light tight oil) is rapidly emerging as a significant and relatively low-cost new unconventional resource in the U.S. There is potential for shale oil production to spread globally over the next couple of decades. If it does, it would revolutionize global energy markets, providing greater long term energy security at lower cost for many countries.

The PWC analysis suggests that global shale oil production has the potential to reach up to 14 million barrels of oil per day by 2035; this amounts to 12 percent of the world’s total oil supply.

This increase could reduce oil prices in 2035 by 25 to 40 percent ($83-$100 a barrel in real terms) relative to the current baseline EIA projection of $133/barrel, which assumes low levels of shale oil production.

At a time when oil importers will benefit from this, the traditional oil exporters, including Russia and Middle East countries, will be badly affected, the PWC concluded.

However, Energy Watch Group is skeptical about the shale boom, which is expected to increase production after 2020 for a while but will not be able to cover the growing needs of industry for “blue fuel” and “black gold”.

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