Sunday 10 April 2022


Prof. Sospeter Muhongo


*The world's total proven natural gas reserves as of 1 January 2020, is estimated to be 7,257 trillion cubic feet (Tcf)

*The world's share of that amount is as follows:

1. Russia: 24.3%

2. Iran: 17.3%

3. Qatar: 12.5%

4. USA: 5.3%

5. Saudi Arabia: 4.2%

What is shale gas?

This is one of the "unconvential sources" of natural gas trapped within the pores of shale formations (sedimentary rocks).

Shale gas resources are different from the "conventional" ones like those of Songo Songo, Mnazi Bay and Kiliwani North in Tanzania.

Extraction of shale gas from the tighter impermeable shale formations is through "horizontal drilling" and "hydraulic fracturing." This "fracking process" is harmful to the environment!

More than 50% of the identified shale gas resources outside USA are concentrated in 5 countries, namely, China, Canada, Algeria, Argentina and Mexico.

USA: In 2000 shale gas accounted for only 1% of USA's natural gas production, by 2010 it was over 20% . The forecast shows that it  might reach 46% of the USA's natural gas supply by 2035.


Please take note of the meeting of 6 April 2022 as reported by Liz Hampton in Denver (Edited by Gary McWilliams, Richard Pullin and Barbara Lewis)

US shale gas, LNG firms met European countries over supply crisis

At least a dozen U.S. shale gas executives on Wednesday held discussions with European energy officials on increasing U.S. fuel supplies to Europe as part of efforts to replace Russian imports.

At the meetings in Houston, foreign affairs, economic ministers and commercial buyers discussed how to lower their imports of Russian oil, coal and liquefied natural gas following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, trade group officials said. The European Union plans to cut its reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds this year. 

Delegations from Latvia and Estonia, diplomats from Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, and the United Kingdom toured the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas, and later met in Houston with shale gas producers, Fred Hutchison, chief executive of trade group LNG Allies, said.

Group discussions included top executives from Chesapeake Energy (CHK.O), Coterra Energy (CTRA.N), EOG Resources (EOG.N) and EQT Corp (EQT.N), he said. 

Individual meetings are planned between U.S. executives and Latvian, Estonian and Slovak commercial representatives.

"The situation in Europe is so precarious. All these countries that are dependent on Russian gas are committed to giving it up, in some cases completely," said Hutchison.

Building LNG capacity takes years and ample new supplies will not be available until mid-decade.

The capacity challenges in 2022 are great but the opportunities in a few years are really terrific," he said.

The meeting, coordinated by the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC) along with LNG Allies, focused on ways to move Europe off Russian gas, including the need for more infrastructure in the United States and Europe, AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury said.

The need for new LNG plants was highlighted at a congressional hearing earlier on Wednesday by Pioneer Natural Resources Chief Executive Scott Sheffield.  He urged Congress to embrace the construction of new U.S. plants.

"We need to build LNG facilities in the northeast," Sheffield said.

Additional Information (Preamble) provided by:

Prof. Sospeter Muhongo

*Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of America (HFGSA)

*Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London (HFGS)

*Honorary Research Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (HRFCAGS)

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