Rystad Energy, a leading energy research firm, anticipates a substantial increase in global gas demand over the next decade. This surge, estimated at 12.5% between 2023 and 2030, is expected to outstrip the capabilities of existing gas fields. Even with the rapid growth in renewable energy and warming scenarios of 1.9 to 2.5 degrees celsius, it is predicted that conventional gas sources will fall short, necessitating a significant expansion in unconventional gas supply.
Traditionally dominant gas producers like Russia and the Middle East are facing the need to shift toward unconventional resources due to declining exploration successes in conventional gas fields. Saudi Arabia, for instance, plans to transition to a more diversified energy landscape by focusing on natural gas and renewables, aiming for a 50% natural gas and 50% renewables electricity generation split by 2030.
The Jafurah field, a substantial shale gas reservoir in Saudi Arabia, is at the forefront of this effort, with investments exceeding US$100 billion. Saudi Aramco, the driving force behind the project, aims to achieve peak shale gas production of two billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) by 2030, significantly boosting the nation’s gas supply.
Rystad Energy emphasizes the need for increased exploration and production efforts, particularly in unconventional gas, to meet rising demand and global warming goals. Unconventional gas is expected to account for approximately a third of the world’s gas supply by 2030.
However, challenges remain, with only a fraction of discovered conventional gas volumes currently in production, highlighting the urgency for countries to invest in unconventional resources to bridge the energy gap and meet environmental targets.
In this evolving energy landscape, unconventional gas stands as a critical solution, requiring strategic investments and exploration initiatives to ensure a sustainable and reliable global gas supply for the future.