World Energy Perspective: Shale Gas 2010

The energy sector around the world is undergoing major changes resulting from increasing competitive pressures and concerns about costs, security of supply and the environment. At the same time, 1.6 billion people, almost a quarter of the world population, do not have access to commercial energy and the need for energy infrastructure investment is huge. The energy challenges are not the same in all regions. While rapidly burgeoning economies in the developing world are focusing on expanding energy access to support their economic growth and provide basic energy services to their citizens, industrialised countries are focusing on securing energy supplies in a competitive environment and in a publicly and environmentally acceptable way. In recent years, shale gas has been making headlines as a potential solution for many of the energy-related challenges, in particular in the United States. A number of studies on shale gas have been conducted, the majority focusing on the assessment of the resource base and the role of emerging technologies, which can significantly increase the current reserve estimates.