Challenges and strategies of shale gas development

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Lee, Sunje

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The objective of this paper is to help new investors and project developers identify the challenges of shale gas E&P and to enlighten them of the currently available strategies so that they can develop the best project plan and execute it without suffering unexpected challenges. This paper categorizes the challenges into five groups and concentrates on shale-gas-specific challenges. It excludes conventional oil and gas development challenges because by and large these five major challenge groups seem to decide the success and failure of most shale gas projects. The five groups are the identification of shale gas potentials, the technical challenges in well design and stimulation strategies, the economic challenges such as high cost of new technologies, the environmental challenges concerning the hydraulic fracturing water, and the international challenges of performing projects outside the US. The strategies are yet to be well established and are still evolving rapidly. Hence, before starting a shale gas project, shale gas developers need to perform extensive and intensive check-ups on the challenges and on current available strategies as well as to stay up to date thereafter on new strategies.



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