“We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union 2012.
On March 1st, the Chinese resources ministry sadi that preliminary surveys showed the country had explorable shale-gas reserves of 25.1 trillion cubic metres, in theory enough to meet China’s gas needs for the next two centuries. (1)
Begin in 2014, Warsaw wants to tap an estimated 5.3 trillion cubic meters of recoverable reserves of gas – enough, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, to supply Poland with more than 300 years of its domestic energy needs. 1. Insight: Poland’s shale gas play takes on Russian power. (2)
Ukraine’s State Geological Service estimates the reserves of the Yuzovska area at 2 trillion cubic metres and those of Olesska at 0.8 to 1.5 trillion cubic metres. The government will accept bids until April 23, and winners will be able to enter production-sharing agreements with state mining and energy company Nadra Ukrainy. (3)
All the countries above are happy to get the gift from the deep earth. Meanwhile, the appearance of shale gas is changing the energy world step by step. Let’s look at the BP review of the World Energy 2011 first.
Natural Gas Trade Movements 2010 BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011(4)
Oil Trade Movements 2010 BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011(4)
From the diagrams of the oil and gas trade movements, we can learn where the United States, China, Japan, and Europe get their energy from. China and Japan get energy from Mid-East mostly. Europe depends on Russia. And the United States get the oil and gas from the whole world.
But what will happen when the shale gas become the dominant energy? Let’s look at the next diagram from EIA.
Map of 48 major shale gas basins in 32 countries(5)
Technically Recoverable Shale Gas Resources by Country
(Reserves are in trillions of cubic feet) (5)
Where are the major shale gas resources? The countries most in need of the energy in the world: the United States, China, and Europe.
What does it mean to the global energy landscape?
- The major energy markets become major producer of shale gas. It saves much transmission fees of energy, which is good to the environment, but people like to ignore it;
- It diminishes the Russia’s share in Europe and the Mideast’s share around the world, reducing the chances that Moscow can use energy as a political weapon and limiting the ability of Mideast to determine the oil and gas price;
- It reduces the competition between China and the United States. As both of the countries have new energy supply to boost their economy, they won’t fight for energy on Middle East and the rest of the world.(6)
In the future, when we open the newest BP review of World Energy, we may find that the direction of oil and gas trade has already shifted.
(1) China claims world’s biggest shale gas reserves http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/9117072/China-claims-worlds-biggest-shale-gas-reserves.html
(2) Insight: Poland’s shale gas play takes on Russian power http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-poland-shalegas-idUSTRE8180PM20120209
(3) Ukraine announces tenders for 2 shale gas deposits http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/24/ukraine-shalegas-idUSL5E8DO2YJ20120224
(4) BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011
(5) World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States by EIA
(6) Shale Gas and U.S. National Security