Unconventional gas resources can be classified into shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane (CBM) and gas hydrates. They are widely used in power generation and industrial application. Focus towards decreasing reliance on depleting conventional resources is one of the major driving factors of global unconventional gas market. In addition, foreign investment by Asian oil and gas giants to acquire unconventional gas assets is further expected to propel the market growth. Regulatory support in the U.S. and China is expected to increase the production of unconventional gas during the forecast period. However, excessive utilization and contamination of surface water and high cost of production is expected to hamper the market growth in the near future.
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Presently, tight gas is largely produced and accounted for 44.4% of the total unconventional gas production in 2012. However, this trend is expected to shift towards shale gas due to technological development coupled with abundant technically recoverable shale reserves. Shale gas is expected to account for more than 47% of the overall market by 2019. Presently, more than 60% of the CBM is produced by North America however; this trend is expected to shift towards Asia Pacific by 2019 owing to huge CBM deposits. Australia is expected to be one of the major CBM producers by 2019.
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Industrial applications of shale gas were prominent in Canada and total production was nearly 318 bcf in 2012. Production of unconventional gases for power generation accounted for approximately 31% in 2012. In terms of revenue, transportation industry is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 6.7% from 2013 to 2019. Residential application includes space heating and cooling, cooking and water heating. Residential application is expected to account for over 18% of the total market in 2019. Transportation is expected to be fastest growing application segment growing at an estimated CAGR of 5.8% from 2013 to 2019. Use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transport fuel is increasing as it is a cleaner source than gasoline and diesel. Commercial application includes healthcare facilities, warehouses, lodging and food services where unconventional gases are used for space heating and cooling and cooking. Commercial application is expected to reach 4426.3 bcf by 2019.
Some of the key participants in the industry include Anadarko, Arrow Energy, BG Group, BHP Billiton, BP, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, Shell and Total among others.