In less than a decade the U.S. has ditched concerns over increasing oil imports in favor of debates over whether or not to lift the crude export ban. Fracking has set off an energy revolution here in America, and the rest of the world is keen to get in on the action. But, as the EIA reports, only three other countries are managing to commercially produce hydrocarbons from shale:
In Canada, tight oil production doubled between 2011 and 2014, from 0.2 million bbl/d to 0.4 million bbl/d. Most Canadian tight oil production comes from Alberta and Saskatchewan. The same is true of Canadian shale gas production, which increased from 1.9 Bcf/d in 2011 to 3.9 Bcf/d as of May 2014, when including production from the Montney formation…In China, Sinopec and PetroChina have reported commercial production of shale gas from fields in the Sichuan Basin. Their combined shale gas output has reached 0.163 Bcf/d, or 1.5% of total natural gas production.In Argentina, tight oil production comes mainly from Vaca Muerta’s Neuquen Basin. National oil company YPF, partnering with Chevron, is producing about 20,000 barrels of tight oil per day from the Loma Campana area.
The kinds of shale production numbers Canada, China, and Argentina are reporting pale in comparison to the mighty American renaissance. The difficulty other countries are having in replicating the U.S. experience pays tribute to the remarkably long list of favorable conditions that allowed the shale boom to ignite here in the first place.From favorable mineral rights to large pools of capital, from an already robust pipeline infrastructure to evenly layered geology, the U.S. seemingly had all of the parts of the shale equation already in place. And as other countries with large shale deposits lag behind in getting their own production up and running, the more providential—and singular—the American shale boom looks.