Recent years have seen marked advancement of the shale gas industry largely in part to key enabling technologies in shale gas extraction. This includes hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, microseismic monitoring technologies, information and communication technologies, and produced water technologies. Powered by these technologies, the shale gas industry has managed to influence the US energy mix, enabling the country to achieve energy self-sufficiency.
However with oil price volatility, shale gas companies are in need of affordable extraction technologies to reduce overall costs. New analysis from consultancy Frost & Sullivan, “Technologies Enabling Extraction of Shale Gas” suggests an impending shake-up this year as companies attempt to find technology that continues to reduce operational costs.
As the global market has witnessed an oversupply of shale products, oil prices have fallen, dampening the pace of shale gas production and consequently the need for related technologies. During the shale gas boom, no other country besides the US focused on developing these resources, clearly demonstrating a downtrend in the industry.
"Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are the major technologies which have made shale gas extraction economical and easy," pointed out Ravi. "To survive current market volatility, however, enabling technologies in shale gas extraction must be even more cost effective."
Since shale gas players are trying to minimize production costs to maintain competitiveness, they will patronize technology developers who make the extraction of shale gas cheaper. Companies that can introduce interconnected smart systems with built-in feedback to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs will be particularly attractive.