Extraction of conventional gas that is generally found in underground reservoirs made up of sandstone is on a decline leading to growing demand for unconventional natural gas sourced from gas shale, coal, and gas hydrates. According to a recent study conducted by Hexa Research, many nations worldwide are engaged in exploration of unconventional natural gas as a future source of energy that will solve problems of poor supplies and higher costs linked with conventional sources.
Hexa Research estimates the global unconventional natural gas extraction market to witness growth at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2013 to 2019. Introduction of technological advancements relating to methods of exploration and extraction such as drilling, hydraulic fracturing, etc., are contributing to market growth. Easily available resources are also proving beneficial to the same.
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Hexa Research segments the unconventional natural gas extraction market according to extraction techniques – viz. horizontal drilling and fracturing, and geography – viz. North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Rest of the World (ROW).
The North American region was valued at more than $54.5billion in 2011. Its CAGR is estimated to be 3.2% from 2013 to 2019. Asian region is anticipated to witness exponential growth with estimated CAGR of 23.2% from 2013 to 2019. Hexa Research determined the value of Asia’s market for vertical and directional drilling to be more than $370million in 2011.
The main inhibitor of growth of the global unconventional natural gas extraction market is the environment impact of its exploration. Activities like drilling and extraction from wells, and its transportation through pipelines result in methane emissions. Moreover, construction undertaken for drilling is likely to change land usage and hamper existing ecosystems due to soil erosion. Hazardous chemicals employed in drilling, hydraulic fracturing and processing and refining the gas contribute to contamination of drinking water.
Hexa Research identifies Devon Energy Corporation, Chevron Corporation, British Gas, Baker Hughes, Chesapeake Energy, ExxonMobil Corporation, Siemens, Reliance Industries Ltd., ConocoPhilips Company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Halliburton Company, etc. as key participants in the global unconventional natural gas extraction industry.