– Shale revolution begins in the Middle East region

main_logoThe MENA region has substantial reserves and the potential is huge, particularly given that a lot of infrastructure exists for conventional oil.

The developments in unconventional oil & gas have totally changed the supply situation in North America and other regions are developing plans. The MENA region has substantial reserves and the potential is huge, particularly given that a lot of infrastructure already exists for conventional oil and gas.

“Reconnaissance and seismic data for the region are readily available due to decades of exploration in the area, saving companies millions, if not billions of dollars that would have been needed to do the same work. There are also a good number of pipelines here that, where geography and geology meet, can convey a premium to any unconventional oil production. As several countries begin to look for the oil shale opportunities, the unconventional story has the potential to be the biggest boom in the energy market in decades” says Chris Faulkner, Chief Executive of Breitling Oil & Gas.

In recent years the demand for natural gas in the MENA region has increased significantly and grown much faster than the supply, which caused shortages in a number of countries, some of which have resorted to imports and others have curbed gas exports in order to meet their energy needs.

Even Saudi Arabia, which has used gas to develop its thriving petrochemicals industry is now having to balance the needs of this industry and the power generation sector. Many countries are actively looking at development of unconventional gas resources as a means to boost the domestic supply, however this creates a lot of commercial, logistical, environmental and even political challenges.

“Libya’s increased demand for gas to generate electricity and to operate its manufacturing plants calls upon the government to direct its future focus on the exploitation of the country’s conventional and unconventional gas resources. Libya’s proven conventional gas reserves are estimated at 43 TCF of which about 23% has been produced, but more than 300Tcf of undeveloped shale gas resources are expected from the country world-class shale source rocks buried at depths ranging from 6000 to 15000 feet. The initial geochemical analysis revealed that two types of shale gas; Thermogenic and Biogenic gases have been developed in the subsurface of the country sedimentary basins” said Mr Bashir B. Garea, Exploration Manager – NOC Libya.

Anticipating the imminent shale gas boom in the Middel East as well, Euro Petroleum Consultants have announced an important high-level event dedicated to Unconventional Gas for the Middle East and North Africa region. MENA Shale 2013 will take place in Abu Dhabi later this year.

“Here at EPC we believe that hydrocarbons from unconventional sources will play an increasingly important part in the energy mix of future and will bring about significant changes in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. That is why it is critical that the leading industry players learn from the North American experience and stay up-to-date with the latest developments so that they can make informed decisions about development of the substantial opportunities that exist in the MENA region” said Andy Gibbins, Vice President MENA at Euro Petroleum Consultants.

The event will take place at the St Regis Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi on 10 & 11 December 2013. The conference will be held in parallel with another large-scale industry forum – OpEx 2013, which is organised by the same company and will tackle issues related to Operational Excellence in oil, gas and petrochemicals.