Shale oil is an unconventional but high-quality oil found between the layers of shale rocks and impermeable mudstone. It is extracted with the help of processes like pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. Oil companies usually extract shale oil by fracturing the layers of rock that contain oil.
The advent of shale oil is an important event in the energy world with wide ramifications for several economic indicators. The importance of shale oil is going to increase across the globe with its increasing production and share in the energy market. This has the potential to revolutionize the energy market with lower oil prices.
However, the impact of shale oil is not going to be limited only to lower oil prices, but can eventually bring about an increase in the global GDP, along with changing the business models for oil and gas companies. In fact, by 2020, shale oil is projected to account for about 9% of global oil production, while increasing shale oil production may bring down oil prices by 25%-40% by 2035. By 2035, shale oil production could increase the global GDP by 2.3%-3.7%.
The major end-user of shale oil has been the industrial sector and a major part of the demand for shale oil will come from this segment in the future as well. The global shale oil market is expected to grow at a very high CAGR of 27% during 2018 to 2023. The growth of the market can be mainly attributed to the growing demand for energy across the globe and the depletion of crude oil.
However, the mining equipment required to extract shale oil are quite expensive, which may inhibit the growth of the market to some extent. Further, large investment is required for shale oil extraction, which too can dampen market growth. However, the development of new, cost-effective extraction techniques and improvement in drilling technique can help oil companies overcome these challenges.
Fuel consumption in developed countries like the US is already high and is likely to increase further in the coming years. With increasing depletion of crude oil, the search for alternative ways to produce energy will be intensified. This will fuel the growth of the global shale oil market.
The US has been a pioneer in developing the shale oil industry. So, naturally, it has a strong hold on the global market for shale oil and is going to maintain its position in the coming years too. The key players operating in the global shale oil market are, American Resource Petroleum Corp., American Shale Oil Corp. (AMSO), AFSK HOM TOV, Aurasource, Inc., Blue Ensign Technologies Ltd., Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Shale Oil Company, Chattanooga Corp., Eesti Põlevkivi, and Electro-Petroleum, Inc.