29 April 2013 04:21 PM Updated : 29 Apr 2013 04:21 PM
Global supplies of natural gas could last for another 250 years at current consumption rates, thanks to new gas discovered as well as a revolution in the production of unconventional gas, a specialized report has estimated.
The report, by Kuwait-based Diplomatic Center for Strategic Studies, revealed that the world gas industry managed to add 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to the world gas proven reserves in 2012.
It also described the US success in producing unconventional gas as a game-changer in the global energy market.
The US success in producing shale gas has prompted a global rush to explore for the new resource, reads the report.
China now has potential shale gas reserves estimated at 1200 trillion cubic feet, higher than that of the United States, the report said citing a report by the International Energy Agency.
Shale gas is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. US energy companies have become very successful in recent years at extracting gas from the shale alongside their existing conventional gas wells.
US shale gas production has increased from almost nothing in 2000 to a 20 percent share of gas production in 2009, with some analysts projecting a 50 percent share by 2035.
Shale reserves are also abundant in other parts of the world.
The report cautioned that the natural gas has become a fierce competitor to oil in several energy-consuming sectors including marine and land transport.
There is a remarkable growth in the usage of liquefied natural gas in land transport means whose consumption make up almost half of the world oil consumption, the report said.
It unveiled that Northern America has recently started producing shale oil.
Shale oil is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen, a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds, from which oil can be produced.
The report predicted that the US shale oil production will grow from almost nothing in 2010 to 4.5 million of barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020 to take its total oil production up to over 12 million barrels per day.
It underlined that the global demand for energy is witnessing a steady growth, especially with taking into account the rising world population and the rapid growth of emerging markets.
It noted that about 1.1 billion people in the developed countries consume nearly 110 million barrels of oil equivalent per day of primary energy while 5.8 billion people in the developing countries consume 140 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
This means that the world will need additional 270 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to meet the world demand of energy, a rate that twice higher than the current energy consumption, the report said.
It confirmed that oil, gas and coal are still the main sources of energy, making up 80 percent of the primary energy, as it has been the case for decades.
Due to its numerous advantages from the environmental and cost perspectives, natural gas will continue to be a preferable and reliable source of energy over the current century, the report forecast.
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