London, UK (PRWEB UK) 20 December 2011
Shale gas has been a ‘game changer’ in the US changing the country from being reliant on imports for the foreseeable future to being able to meet demand from domestic production. A large reduction in the cost to produce natural gas from shale has made shale gas economically viable. So presently US natural gas prices are around USD 4 per mmBtu.
“Furthermore,” says Max Krangle, Managing Director at NRG Expert, “there is concern over the environmental impact of fracturing water and the amount of water used in the fracturing process. New environmental legislation on hydraulic fracturing, if passed, could drive the costs of hydraulic fracturing higher, possibly leaving only the big players in the shale game.”
However, it is not all ‘doom and gloom’, other avenues for shale gas developers include the export of natural gas to Asia as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or the exploitation of natural gas liquids (NGLs) or oil in shale deposits. Both of which are currently considerably more expensive than US dry natural gas. Thus, there is an increased interest in shale deposits with a high liquid content or close to LNG terminals. Petrochemical manufacturers have even started to consider relocating close to shale plays in the US to use the NGLs produced.
Despite the uncertainty interest in shale gas has not waned. High oil prices are starting to make compressed natural gas vehicles more of a viable option. Furthermore, natural gas produces less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on burning than coal. Fuel switching from coal to natural gas at power stations is one option for country’s to meet Kyoto targets for cutting CO2 emissions.
NRG Expert is a London and Toronto based energy intelligence and market research publisher. NRG Expert provides up to date information and analysis of worldwide energy markets, including electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewable energy, water and waste, and all elements of energy infrastructure. To find out more about NRG Expert reports and databases please visit http://www.NRGExpert.com.