Shale gas is used for a range of applications which includes industrial, power generation, commercial, residential and transportation. It is basically a natural gas which is extracted from different shales. Some major shales are Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Barnett, Bakken among others. In industries, shale gas is used to produce ethane which is a feed stock for various industries. Shale gas itself is used as feedstock for fertilizer industry to produce ammonia. Shale gas is used in power industry replacing coal. Many countries are converting their coal fired power plants to gas fired power plants to reduce carbon emissions. Commercial and residential sectors use shale gas for space heating or cooling, water heaters, and cooking purposes among others. Shale gas is also used as fuel for vehicles.
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Shale gas is widely used in power generation and industrial applications. In 2012, Industrial usage accounted for approximately above 30% and is expected to reach approximately to 33% to 35% by 2019. Power generation also accounts for a major portion of the overall shale gas market share and by 2019 it is expected to decrease. Residential usage is expected to increase by 2019, as other renewable energy sources such as solar energy, biogas, etc. are increasingly preferred because they are eco-friendly. Application in the commercial sector is also expected to increase substantially, by 2019. Use of CNG in transportation is slowly rising due to soaring crude oil prices.
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BP plc started the Na Kika Phase 3 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico in February 2014 and established a joint venture with Z Energy and New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. In March 2014 to produce and process crude oil through New Zealand’s oil refinery. In July 2013, BP and CNOOC signed an agreement for the exploration of Third Deepwater Block in South China Sea and also opened the largest bio-refinery in the U.K. in Hull in a joint venture with AB Sugar and DuPont. At full capacity, the refinery would produce 420 million liters of bio-ethanol per year.