Initial assessments of 48 shale gas basins containing almost 70 shale gas formations in 32 countries suggest that shale gas resources, which have recently provided a major boost to US natural gas production, are also available in other world regions. A new EIA-sponsored study by Advanced Resources International, Inc. reports initial assessments of 5,760 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable shale gas resources in 32 foreign countries.
Adding the estimated US shale gas technically recoverable resources (862 Tcf) to the assessments in the study gives a total of 6,622 Tcf. For comparison, most current estimates of world technically recoverable natural gas resources include few if any of the resources assessed in this study and total about 16,000 Tcf.
Adding identified shale gas resources to current estimates of other gas resources increases total world technically recoverable resources by over 40 percent, to more than 22,000 trillion cubic feet.
-EIA Administrator Richard Newell.
David Fuller's view Aside from its powerful multinational companies, the USA is a debt-riddled, weakened superpower today but the holy grail of energy independence beckons within the next 12 to 15 years. For this we can thank the USA's breakthrough known as multistage horizontal fracking, which is undoubtedly the most significant innovation in the oil and gas industry for at least 50 years.
The USA is fortunate to have the world's largest known reserves of shale oil and the second largest known reserves of shale gas. This may not solve all of the country's problems of debt and governance, but it will make them more manageable.
China - the world's emerging superpower - is fortunate in having the world's largest know reserves of shale gas and the second largest known reserves of shale oil. China also has the foresight to expand greatly its fledgling nuclear power industry, so it too should be assured of energy independence within the next 12 to 15 years.
Many other countries will benefit from their own shale gas and shale oil reserves, as yet undeveloped, in addition to their known reserves of conventional gas and oil.
If the nuclear power renaissance can recover from the huge emotional setback of Fukushima, as it should if the world is serious about significantly lowering carbon dioxide emissions within the next twenty years, energy independence will be achieved by more countries.
This would be good news for the GDP growth supercycle that Fullermoney forecasts.
The danger period in terms of energy supplies is over the next decade. Today, WTI crude oil and more importantly Brent crude threaten to become additional headwinds for the global economy.
Meanwhile, global stock markets, which are having a very good day, are in the middle of a scrum between monetary conditions which remain bullish and the threat of additional commodity price inflation. Many months ago I described commodities as the next big story, which would eventually become the next big problem. The problem is growing and many central banks will respond with higher short-term interest rates, in an attempt to prevent an inflationary psychology from becoming part of the public consciousness. This has already occurred in some of the growth economies, led by China and India.