Natural gas extracted from shale rock formations has become the fastest-growing source of gas in the United States, and other countries are now evaluating how they can harness this emerging energy source.
U.S. Shale Gas Development
The development of natural gas from shale has proceeded quickly in the United States, where the energy industry has long known about huge gas resources trapped in shale rock formations. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), of the 2,300 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas resources estimated to be in the United States, more than a quarter is held in shale rock formations.
It is only over the past decade that energy companies have been able to economically unlock natural gas from shale by combining two established technologies: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. As a result, natural gas from shale has grown to about 35 percent of U.S. gas production during that time. According to EIA estimates, this resource could account for 50 percent of U.S. production by 2040.
Developing natural gas from shale promises to further enhance the U.S. energy sector, help to strengthen local and state economies, and fuel job growth. Shale gas activity supported more than 900,000 jobs across the nation in 2012.
Global Potential for Developing Natural Gas From Shale
The EIA estimates that global recoverable shale gas resources stand at 7,299 trillion cubic feet, so it’s conceivable that this resource could one day offer similar benefits to other countries.
Although exploration and development of these resources outside of the United States are still in the early stages, Chevron is acquiring shale acreage around the world. We are at various stages of exploration in a number of countries, including Argentina, Canada, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
Updated: July 2014