Global shale 'needs right framework'

Global expansion of shale gas developments are promising but the right set of rules, policies, and regulations need to be in place before commercial activity can begin, panelists said in Moscow on Tuesday.

With North America actively pursuing commercial development of its vast shale resources, countries in South America, the Middle East,Asia and elsewhere have much to do to make investment in the unconventional resource more attractive to potential explorers.

"Shale resources must satisfy minimal criteria to be productive and economic," Glenda Wylie, Halliburton's director of global technical marketing, told delegates at the World Petroleum Congress.

Wylie identified three things holding shale development outside the US.

First, she said, governments need to simplify regulations and address surface and subsurface rights with a level of public education and environmental protection.

Wylie said the right data is also necessary because "assets must sustain production for long-term viability".

Sourcing of equipment and water, as well as disposal and other costs, also must be sorted out in the most cost-effective way possible, he said.

Wylie said the countries with the biggest shale potential are ustralia, Argentina, the Middle East, China and India. Others she mentioned were Colombia, Peru, the UK and South Africa.

New Zealand drilled a successful well in 2013 that Wylie compared to the Bakken shale in the US.

(This article has been amended from the original to highlight the countries Wylie sees as having the biggest shale potential outside the US, while Halliburton has compared the successful well drilled in New Zealand, mentioned in the final paragraph, to the Bakken formation and not the Barnett shale.)

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