Commodities at a Glance

Special Issue on Shale Gas

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The Commodities at a Glance series aims to collect, present and disseminate accurate and relevant statistical information linked to international primary commodity markets in a clear, concise and reader-friendly format. This edition is specifically dedicated to the shale gas problem.

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Shale gas developments outside the united states

With hundreds of thousands of wells drilled since the mid-2000s, the United States has accumulated experience with regard to mastering the exploration and production of shale gas. It also has a wealth of knowledge on the potential impacts this extractive activity may have on local populations, the environment and the economy. Other countries holding shale gas resources may wish to emulate the United States model, taking into consideration only the positive aspects of the experience. The development of shale gas activities may be viewed as a way to reduce the natural gas import bill and increase energy independence. It may also be considered a vehicle for direct and indirect job creation through the expansion of support service sectors, as well as the revitalization of some stagnant sectors. Some industrial sectors have benefited from competitiveness gains owing to lower energy and input costs in the United States. Moreover, the increasing quantities of natural gas made available through shale gas deposits have also contributed to curbing coal consumption in the United States, especially in the power generation sector. However, it should be noted that the development of this industry has also led to some concerns that have resulted in shale gas exploration and production being banned, especially in high-populated areas (e.g. New York State).

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