Inflationary crude oil prices, coupled with the cost advantages of harnessing shale oil over conventional energy resources, are driving an upsurge in demand for oil shale worldwide. The global oil shale market is poised for substantial growth, fueled by rising car sales due to increased income levels, rapid urbanization, and the burgeoning demand for petrochemical products. According to the 2020 Oil report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global crude oil demand is forecasted to surge from 4.4 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2019 to an estimated 104.1 mb/d by 2026. With such a dramatic uptick in crude oil demand on the horizon, the oil shale market is primed for corresponding expansion.
The escalating global appetite for energy has compelled governments to leverage modern technologies for the exploration of untapped oil and gas resources in the upstream sector, aimed at boosting crude oil supply. In light of diminishing production from conventional oilfields, oil and gas companies are channeling increased investments into mature oil and gas areas. Recent reports indicate the existence of approximately 65,000 active oil and gas fields worldwide, generating a staggering total revenue of USD 2.1 trillion. The rapid exploitation of unconventional oil and gas fields is poised to augment crude oil supply, thereby propelling the growth of the oil shale market.
Shale oil production distinguishes itself from traditional methods in two pivotal ways. Firstly, it allows for multiple wells to be drilled from a single platform, enhancing operational efficiency. Secondly, shale oil production exhibits different responsiveness to changes in oil prices compared to conventional wells. Technological advancements enabling crude oil extraction from shale rock formations have transformed the landscape of U.S. oil production over the past decade. Since 2008, shale oil production has surged from approximately 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) to over 5 million bpd, now accounting for more than half of the total U.S. crude oil production. This surge in production is unrivaled on a global scale, with the United States becoming the largest oil-producing country in 2017, producing an average of 14.6 million barrels per day of crude oil, petroleum, and biofuels–2 million barrels per day more than Saudi Arabia.
Increasing Fuel Dependency Drives Market Growth
The fuel category is expected to maintain its dominance in the global oil shale market, emerging as the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This dominance can be attributed to the worlds growing reliance on fossil resources. Factors such as population growth, increased vehicle ownership, and easy access to gasoline are among the primary drivers of the fuel segment. Furthermore, the escalating demand for electricity in various power plants is anticipated to contribute significantly to the overall growth of the fuel segment in the coming years. The burgeoning economic development, particularly in underdeveloped regions, is poised to further boost the global fuel segment.
Abundance of Shale Oil Reservoirs in North America Spurs Market Growth
North America has emerged as the powerhouse of the global oil shale market and is expected to maintain its status as the fastest-growing segment throughout the forecast period. Factors such as the use of shale gas for electricity generation–considered a cleaner fuel than coal–are set to propel the North American shale market. Notable factors include vast proven reserves, innovative applications of hydraulic fracturing technology, horizontal drilling, and the exploration of new oil shale sources, all of which are poised to drive regional market growth. Massive shale reserves and ongoing developments in nations like Canada and Mexico present significant market opportunities for the North American shale sector.
The United States of America boasts substantial oil shale reserves, positioning it as a key driver of growth in the North American market. Reports indicate that shale gas and tight oil production in the United States are projected to reach approximately 34 trillion cubic feet by 2050, up from 24.91 trillion cubic feet in 2021. Consequently, the United States is expected to exert dominance over the North American shale market throughout the projection period.
Asia-Pacific Emerges as a Promising Growth Region
The Asia-Pacific region is poised for robust growth in the oil shale market, driven by the expanding oil and energy industries and a growing preference for oil shale as an alternative component in conventional fuels. Factors such as increased oil consumption and the expansion of oil-dependent industries are projected to fuel market growth. In 2020, China emerged as the top oil consumer in the Asia-Pacific region, consuming 14,225 thousand barrels of oil per day. India followed closely as the regions second-largest oil consumer, with a consumption rate of approximately 4,669 barrels of oil per day. With such significant oil consumers in the region, the demand for oil is expected to drive the oil shale market in the years to come.
In May 2022, BP (BP.L) announced plans to triple crude oil output from its Thunder Horse project in the United States Gulf of Mexico by the end of the year, in addition to launching a new production platform. BP anticipates that the Thunder Horse project will produce approximately 200,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent by year-end, up from the current 100,000 bpd.
Prominent players in the oil shale market include American Shale Oil, General Synfuels International, Oil Shale Exploration Company, Central Pacific Minerals, BP, Harbin Coal Chemical Company, Japan Oil, Baraka Energy & Resources, Ambre Energy, Gas & Metals National Corp (JOGMEC), Chevron Shale Oil Company, Oil India Limited (OIL), Independent Energy Partners (IEP), Queensland Shale Oil Limited, Israel Chemicals Ltd, Royal Dutch Shell, and others.
Global Industry Analysis (2018 2021) Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2022 2029) https://www.fairfieldmarketresearch.com/report/oil-shale-market
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