When the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its first-ever report that looked at shale oil and gas potential from a global perspective, the first question that came to nearly everyone’s mind was: Where will the next shale boom be?
It’s a tricky question that has more to do with technology and political will than it does with reserve volumes. It’s also a question that requires an understanding of the significant difference between technically and economically recoverable reserves.
Perhaps the bigger question is: Will there even be another shale revolution?
Before we answer that, let’s do a quick review of the global numbers put forth by the EIA and Advanced Resources International (ARI)…
For shale oil (technically recoverable):
• Russia (75 billion barrels)
• US (48 billion barrels)
• China (32 billion barrels)
• Argentina (27 billion barrels)
• Libya (26 billion barrels)
For shale gas:
• US (1,161 trillion cubic feet—ARI est.)
• China (1,115 Tcf)
• Argentina (802 Tcf)
• Algeria (707 Tcf)
• Canada (573 Tcf)
• Mexico (545 Tcf)
• Australia (437 Tcf)
• South Africa…