Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States estimates that shale resources taken in conjunction with EIA’s own assessment of resources within the United States indicate technically recoverable resources of 345 billion barrels of world shale oil resources and 7,299 trillion cubic feet of world shale gas resources. While the current report considers more shale formations than were assessed in a previous version, it still does not assess many prospective shale formations, such as those underlying the large oil fields located in the Middle East and the Caspian region. Currently, only the United States and Canada are producing shale oil and shale gas in commercial quantities.
“As shale oil and shale gas production has grown in the United States to become 30% of oil and 40% of natural gas total production, interest in the oil and natural gas resource potential of shale formations outside the United States has grown,” said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski. “Today’s report indicates a significant potential for international shale oil and shale gas, though the extent to which technically recoverable shale resources will prove to be economically recoverable is not yet clear.”
Shale oil and shale gas resource estimates are highly uncertain and will remain so until the shale basins are extensively tested with production wells. This report’s methodology for estimating the shale resources outside the United States is based on the geology and resource recovery rates of similar shale formations in the United States that have produced shale oil and shale gas from thousands of producing wells.