Picture of an LNG bunker ship, currently the world’s largest with the cargo capacity of 7,500 cubic meters of gas

GIS Dossier: The shale gas revolution

  • Shale gas technology and LNG infrastructure arrived quietly but had a global impact
  • Environmental and cost concerns over fracking have held it back in Europe and Asia
  • Asian demand, especially in China, will decide how this U.S.-born revolution develops

Shale gas is natural gas trapped in sedimentary rock formations. The extraction technology is hardly new. Horizontal drilling began in the 1930s and a well was first fracked (a technique of fracturing rock with pressurized liquid) in 1947. However, the large-scale development of “unconventional gas” in the United States began at earnest only in this century.

Initially, much cynicism surrounded shale technology, which was dismissed as overhyped, expensive and short-lived. But doubters have been proven wrong. Since 2009, when shale-derived energy began to reach the market in large quantities, U.S. oil and gas production staged a remarkable recovery, reversing decades of decline and reducing the country’s reliance on imports. As a result, shale gas not only revolutionized the energy sector in the U.S. but has become the tipping point for fundamental change in global gas markets. There have been winners and some losers, too.

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 GIS Feature
The U.S. has decreased greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • Shale gas technology and LNG infrastructure arrived quietly but had a global impact
  • Environmental and cost concerns over fracking have held it back in Europe and Asia
  • Asian demand, especially in China, will decide how this U.S.-born revolution develops
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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