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  • The shale gas economy

    Salikhov M. R.
    27 November 2012, Valdai International Discussion Club

    Marsel Salikhov is tht Head of Economic Department, Institute of Energy and Finance.

    The shale gas economy

    Shale gas continues to provoke fierce debates and discussions, and has split the world into two opposing camps. The skeptics claim that this is yet another financial bubble that is bound to collapse sooner or later. Their main arguments center around high production costs, low domestic prices and shaky finances. The supporting fact is that the United States and Canada are so far the only countries to produce shale gas on a large scale. Other arguments are based on the potential environmental hazards of the shale gas technology.

    The advocates of the shale gas revolution offer their own arguments. For example, IHS Global Insight writes in a survey prepared for America’s Natural Gas Alliance that the shale gas contribution to GDP was more than $76 billion and the shale gas industry supported 600,000 jobs in 2010. The growth of shale gas is leading to lower natural gas and electric power prices, which offers competitive advantages to all gas consumers. 
    I will not go into technological, geological or environmental aspects of shale gas production, because I do not have professional knowledge of these areas, but I can write about the economic side. We have recently made a special survey of the financials and economy of the U.S. shale gas industry and some of the companies involved. Here are the main conclusions.

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