Fracking Outside the United States

Global Fracking Summary

The Peterson Group – Jakarta, Indonesia

A proven energy industry sector in the United States, fracking has also been considered and employed in several other countries, yet the following pace is slow.

Substantial Untapped Deposits Mean Future Growth

Substantial deposits of natural gas entrapped in coal and shale ridges have been identified in various parts all over the world – Australia, Canada, China, Eastern and Western Europe, South America and South Africa – yet multinational energy companies are sluggish in reaction. A number of ensuing issues block the successful pursuit of recovering energy from under the surface. Some of which are: damage resulting from seismic activity, contamination of land and water supply near fracking sites, increase in greenhouse gas discharge into the atmosphere, limited infrastructure, and mineral rights attributed to the state rather than to the land owners.

Drilling companies theorize that trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from beneath the United Kingdom, through this process of injecting high-pressure fluid into the wells creating cracks in deep-rock formations. As of June 2013, reserves of shale gas have been identified across northern England however no fracking has took place. Fracking licenses must be applied for by drilling companies if this method should be made.

Origins of Fracking

In 1953, hydraulic fracturing was first used in Alberta, Canada to recover hydrocarbons from the prolific Pembina oil field, the largest conventional oil field in Alberta. Without fracking, the said field would have produced a very minimal amount of oil. New areas for hydrocarbon production have been opened as hydraulic fracturing methods are joined with the latest innovations in horizontal drilling. In 2012, Canada registered 356 active rigs, second only to the United States with 1,919 active.

France may have reasonably large shale gas reserves but has banned fracking in total for its concerns about the safety of the process.

With the considerable amount of natural gas to be recovered from several areas of the world from fracking yet with commensurate adverse effects, it is still unclear as to how many countries would tag along the bandwagon in accessing their gas reserve potential.

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