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North America is the king of the fracking boom, enabling it to vastly boost domestic production of natural gas and crude oil, moving it one step closer to its ultimate goal of energy independence. The problem is that US shale fields are fairly crowded, with some companies actually withdrawing from tight oil altogether, so in order to continue growing in the future, they must search for the next fracking boom.
Eduardo Negri, the Geological Studies Director for Repsol, has said that the Spanish energy giant has predicted that the next region to expect a shale boom will be North Africa, not Australia or Russia.
Negri plans to talk about North Africa at an industry conference in Tunisia on the 22nd October, but wrote to Bloomberg in advance to let them know that “Repsol has conducted a regional study covering the whole Saharan Platform in order to identify prospective areas for shale gas and oil from a geological point of view. One of the most important things required to consolidate a successful unconventional project is to have clear and stable contractual and fiscal terms specially designed for unconventionals.”
Related article: This Week in Energy: Welcome to the US Shale Reshuffle
Youcef Yousif, the Energy minister for Algeria, has said that the country’s oil and natural gas output will double in seven to ten years as developing fields begin production and remote regions are explored for tight oil and gas reserves.
Algeria has already worked to try and attract foreign investment to explore for shale deposits, and Repsol is working in three separate regions in the country.
Libya is also looking to encourage foreign energy companies with experience in fracking to invest the country’s shale assets, and begin working on plans to extract the reserves. Clearly confident in its prediction that North Africa will become the next hotspot for shale production, Repsol has already begun exploring for shale formations in Libya as well.
“The current drilling and completion costs are still high in North Africa. This is something that can be worked on if service companies take special effort in preliminary evaluation steps in order to show how they can reduce costs, thinking about massive operations in the future.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com