Pakistan has over 50 trillion cubic feet of Shale gas reserves, according to the US Energy Information.
U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) has come out with a report (51 mb) on global shale gas potential that includes some Indian sedimentary basins as well. The report has been prepared for the EIA by Advanced Resources International, a company based in Virginia, U.S.
Conventional gas reservoirs are created when natural gas migrates from an organic-rich source formation into permeable reservoir rock, where it is trapped by an overlying layer of impermeable rock.
In contrast, shale gas resources ancient gas deposits form within the organic-rich shale source rock below 2000 feets. The low permeability of the shale greatly inhibits the gas from migrating to more permeable reservoir rocks.
As reported, Pakistan needs investment and technical assistance to develop these reserves. US oil and gas companies are pioneers and leaders in shale gas development.
Process of Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale Natural Gas Extraction Deveoped in USA.
Educational video describing the unique process of Hydraulic Fracturing.
Merits of Shale Gas.
Ø Cheap domestic gas can start flowing from Pakistani shale in a couple of years if Pakistan can make a deal with US( should be based on mutual respect).
Ø It is estimated that Pakistan will have to pay a maximum of $6.50/Btu for the gas compared with $12.30/Btu for gas imports from Iran.
Demerits of shale gas processing as reported.
As reported, though it does burn much cleaner than coal and oil, the process of extraction of shale gas is not without risks, particularly risks to the environment. In the United States, there have been many reports of ground water contamination from chemicals used to fracture rocks, as well as high levels of methane in water wells. In the absence of tight regulations and close monitoring, such pollution of ground water could spell disaster for humans and agriculture.
Investigate further the obvious consequences.
Reports on the rising issues surrounding the unregulated industry of mining Shale natural gas via Fracking, or Hydraulic Fracturing.
Gas/Oil production is peaking. The easy oil and gas has been consumed. What remains will increasingly be harder to get to and more complicated to extract. The business of oil/gas extraction will get increasingly untidy.
The above highlighted demerits should be taken into account prior taking any decision in this regard. Pakistanis are not in a position to bear any financial lose further.
Pakistan do not have vast territory/agricultural land like USA OR AUSTRALIA and not in a position to risk/ lose any agricultural land and live stocks.
In case of heavy floods like preceding years there are chances of vast contamination of drinking/ agricultural waters with chemicals used in the process and gas which may cause unrecoverable disaster.