U.S. SHALE GAS PRODUCTION DECLINE
The Gazprom Board of Directors took notice of the information about the results of monitoring shale gas industries evolution around the world.
It was stressed that the key trends of the global shale gas industry in 2013–2014 were the declined rates of gas production from the US shale deposits and the lack of any progress in developing shale gas resources beyond North America.
According to most experts, the attempts to produce shale gas in Poland, a supposed-to-be basis of shale gas industry development in Europe, were a failure. In 2014 a few more international operators officially announced the refusal to further implement their shale projects in this country. It was noted that economically efficient gas production from Polish shales was hardly probable in the mid-term perspective.
The meeting highlighted that shale gas production in Russia still seemed to be inexpedient. This is explained by a significant amount of conventional gas reserves, the cost of which is by far lower than the expected cost of shale gas, as well as by the negative environmental impact of shale gas production.
Between 2013 and 2014 wide-scale commercial production of shale gas was still conducted only in the USA and Canada.
The shale gas industry development is associated with a number of environmental risks as its commercial production requires drilling a large amount of wells and applying a hydraulic fracturing technology, according to which significant amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals should be injected into a formation. This poses a risk of land and groundwater contamination. Currently, all-round or local moratoria on hydraulic fracturing is in force in France, Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and other European countries, as well as in a number of Australian states. Moreover, the moratorium is retained in the state of New York, where a part of a largest American shale basin, Marcellus, is located.
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