Over the course of the three day conference, delegates heard from leading companies as well as top level government officials from around the world. Discussions focused on the global gas supply and demand, the upstream shift from gas to liquids/shale oil in the US, logistical challenges, regulatory and environmental concerns, and finding the human resource to ensure the successful future of the industry.
Michael Yeager, Chief Executive of BHP Billiton Petroleum, highlighted many of these issues in a keynote address outlining the four major challenges facing the shale industry as gaining the support of local communities, achieving and sustaining operational excellence in a dispersed operating environment with an immature supply chain; managing large and continuous needs for capital in a volatile economic climate; and building the human resource base to support long-term growth.
While the US experts discussed their experiences in the shale industry, representatives from foreign governments were also present to highlight their goals and plans for developing their own shale resources. Mexico’s Director General of Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons from the Secretaria de Energia, Guillermo Garcia Alcocer, delivered a presentation outlining steps the country is taking to develop shale oil and gas, including reviewing the current legal framework and encouraging third party participation.
From China, the Ministry of Land and Resources’ Professor Pan Jiping, specified several key challenges for shale gas development in China, including unsolved technical problems, the need for revision of the regulatory framework, unfavourable gas pricing mechanism, and inadequate infrastructure in the country.
On the 19 September, the World Shale Oil & Gas Awards were presented at a dinner at the Petroleum Club hosted by BHP Billiton: the Technological Innovator Award went to AbTech Industries; the Community Engagement Award went to Nexen Inc; and the International Pioneer Award went to Apache Corp.
The future of the shale oil & gas industry faces many questions, from issues around regulatory and fiscal support to concerns about the economic feasibility of producing shale gas in a low gas price environment. We look forward to welcoming the international industry to World Shale Oil & Gas 2013 to look at how the industry are tackling these issues, along with the latest developments from across the globe.