Viability of GTL for the North American Gas Market
New developments in horizontal drilling, in combination with hydraulic fracturing, have greatly expanded producers' ability to recover natural gas and oil from shale plays in North America. High shale gas activity has increased dry shale gas production int he US by around five times - from 1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2006 to 4.8 Tcf in 2010 - which is over 20% of the dry natural gas production volume in the US.
Considering that there are 750 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas resources int eh Lower 48 states, the shale gas portion of the US' overall dry gas production is forecast to rise to 40% - 50% over the next two decades. Likewise, in Canada, the technically recoverable shale gas total of 355 Tcf provides a promising resource, as it is more than five times the 62 Tcf of proven reserves of conventional natural gas in Canada. Projections show that total US and Canadian shale gas production will increase from about 9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) in 2010 to over 25 Bcfd in 2025.