North America will hold a 78% share of the global shale gas production in 10 years because of the region's technical expertise and availability of resources, according to a report released May 25 by Markets and Markets.

In 2010 North America was the only region active with commercial shale gas production. But current exploration and production activities by major oil and gas companies in Europe and Asia Pacific are expected to lead to shale gas commercialization in these regions by gas by 2016, the report says.

The markets representing high growth rate in shale gas production from 2016 to 2021 are China (6.2%), Poland (6%), France (5.4%), South Africa (5.1%) and the United States (5%).

Global shale gas production is expected to grow to 6,991 billion cubic feet in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% through 2021.

Rising shale gas production will likely boost ethylene production by 6.6% by 2021. Ethylene is a feedstock derived from natural gas that is used in petrochemicals.

Challenges that could hinder shale gas development include the capital-intensive nature of shale gas projects and environmental issues associated with hydraulic fracturing.

See Also
The New Black Gold