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The Global Shale and Unconventional Gas Story at Gastech 2011

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As European shale plays gain momentum and Asian energy providers continue to invest in US shale projects, it is a crucial tipping point for the future of the unconventional gas source on the global scene. Gastech 2011, to be held at the Amsterdam RAI from 21st – 24th March, has in response introduced a new focus on unconventional gas, recognising the growing role of the sector and resulting interest it is engendering worldwide, not to mention the knock-on effect it has on other key industry areas, such as LNG.

(Photo copyright: Wood Mackenzie)

Utilisation of previously uneconomical or unrecoverable shale gas deposits has for some time been the focal success story of the North American natural gas industry, increasing eightfold as it has done in the US over the past decade to make up 10% of natural gas production there at present. This increase has also turned the US into the largest producer of natural gas in the world, a fact perhaps reflected in the continuing scramble to invest in shale plays such as Marcellus.

Against this background, developers are now looking to other regions to replicate the shale achievements of North America, taking with them the lessons learned and technology developed. The focal prospective area at present is Europe, having as it does both potentially significant shale formations, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, plus a growing energy dependency issue that many European countries are anxious to mitigate.

Poland appears likely to contain the first assets that will be fully exploited, with several companies already developing projects there. It also has significant deposits of other unconventional gas sources, such as the tight gas already being drilled by AIM-listed Aurelian Oil & Gas – whose CEO, Rowen Bainbridge, will be speaking about Poland as a case study at the Gastech conference – spurring conjecture that unconventional extraction technology could change Poland, as it did the US, from an importer to self-sufficiency, or even into an exporter.

These issues make there no better time than the present for Gastech to critically extend its conference portfolio into the unconventional gas sector. Conference content will spotlight this ‘hot topic’, from the stream on day two exploring it’s potential as a ‘global game-changer’ through to day three’s dedicated third stream organised by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) providing a broad perspective of the possibilities and concerns surrounding the industry.

Gastech 2011 will take place from 21-24 March at the Amsterdam RAI. Those wishing to attend the Gastech conference as a delegate can pre-register at

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