Australia is primed to become the next big play in the booming frac market, with China and Argentina close behind, as global nations with estimated reserves of 1.7 trillion barrels of oil equivalent seek to emulate the United States’ pioneering, and astonishing, success in tapping shale gas and tight oil, according to Lux Research.
To determine leaders and laggards among nations pursuing development of shale assets, Lux developed a proprietary model based on a country’s market attractiveness and path to commercial production.
“Shale gas and tight oil have single-handedly altered North America’s energy landscape, away from a long and steady fossil fuel decline and toward the path of energy independence. Not surprisingly, the rest of the world is keen to pursue similar success,” said Daniel Choi, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, “Uncovering Further Opportunities in the Booming Frac Market.”
“Australia’s strong infrastructure, low population density and legacy of mining; Argentina’s powerful government incentives; and China’s seemingly bottomless development capital make the three countries clear front-runners in this race,” he added.
Lux Research analysts evaluated nations and technology companies for their ability to benefit from the booming frac market. Among their findings:
The U.K. establishes itself as the leader in Europe. With over 300 licenses for fraccing sites, the U.K. is Europe’s leader while Poland and Norway have fallen behind. However, Ukraine announced two separate $10 billion deals with supermajors Chevron and Shell in 2013, positioning it to become a major energy player and overtake the U.K. Overall, many European countries have attractive shale and other tight resources but environmental and not-in-my-backyard concerns complicate development.
Technology is key to a profitable well. Lux analyzed 20 companies with technologies for improved fraccing on the Lux Innovation Grid; US Seismic Systems, Ziebel, Microseismic Inc., Deep Casing Tools and Meta Downhole emerged in the “Dominant” quadrant.
IT opportunity is enormous, but competitive. Software companies have rushed into the oil and gas sector to tap a $40 billion market for optimization created by the growing volume of data. For example, OVS Group creates a user-friendly workflow system that organizes data gathered from different providers; and Stochastic Simulation data mines information from geologic models.
The report, titled “Uncovering Further Opportunities in the Booming Frac Market,” is part of the Lux Research Exploration and Production Intelligence service.
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