Shale gas extraction in the United States

The United States of America possesses significant shale gas reserves that have become available for extraction due to the development of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies.

Key shale gas areas in the U.S. include Barnett Shale (Texas), Antrim Shale (Michigan), Marcellus Shale (Pennsylvania), Fayetteville Shale (Arkansas), Haynesville Shale (Louisiana), Woodford Shale (Oklahoma) and others.

Карта основних родовищ сланцевого газу в США

Map of major shale gas areas in USA

According to the U.S. Department of Energy the technology of hydraulic fracturing was first time used in 1947. In 70-ies of the 20th century with the support of U.S. Department of Energy a study was conducted that aimed at the development of technologies of fraktografic analysis, directional and horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which later gave rise to shale gas extraction industry.

At the end of the 20th century, and especially at the beginning of 21th century shale gas started to play a significant role in the energy balance of the U.S.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2007-2010 the volume of shale gas extraction has increased more than four times and reached 151 billion cubic meters.

Обсяги видобування сланцевого газу в США, млрд. м. куб.

Shale gas production volumes, in billion cubic meters. Source: EIA

In 2011, as reported by Bloomberg, the volume of shale gas extraction increased by another 46%, and its share in total output of natural gas has conducted 30%. Map of US Shale Gas Plays Map of US Shale Gas Plays