OPEC wary of shale prospects outside U.S.

Nov. 9, 2012 at 8:29 AM

VIENNA, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- While shale natural gas developments are reshaping the overall energy mix, it will be tough to replicate the success of the United States, said OPEC.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, in its World Oil Outlook report, said shale natural gas production in the United States increased from 15 billion cubic feet per day in 2010 to 25 billion cubic feet per day this year.

An October report from research company IHS said the shale oil and natural gas sector in the United States could contribute nearly $500 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product by 2035.

OPEC said it expected shale formations to play a role in satisfying emerging energy needs but the refining sector needs an overhaul to take advantage of shale resources.

It said shale reserve development outside the United States, like in Eastern European countries, is in its infancy and issues like regulation, environmental concerns and long-term energy prices may cloud prospects.

"Replicating the success of U.S. shale gas development internationally requires addressing many key challenges," the report read.

The United States is among the world leaders in terms of shale natural gas reserves. China is close behind.

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