Expert: Kazakhstan has prospects to develop shale gas fields

Oil&Gas Materials 13 March 2013 20:23 (UTC +04:00)

Kazakhstan, Astana, March 13 / Trend, D. Mukhtarov /

Kazakhstan has the potential to develop shale gas fields, senior Saudi mining engineer, member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Aslan Bulekbaev said today.

"Kazakhstan has large coal deposits and presumably, there are large deposits of shale gas," Bulekbaev told Trend via email.

He added that at present, Kazakhstan has no share in the development of this type of non-traditional fields of tight gas, shale or coal bed methane while such countries as Australia, Canada, China and India actively started the commercial production.

He reminded that earlier, Kazakh former Prime Minister Karim Massimov spoke about the need for exploration work on shale gas.

He said that there is such a prospect. As an example, he cited the U.S. The price per 1,000 cubic feet (28.3 cubic meters) of natural gas on the market was $7.97 before 2008. The price per 1,000 cubic feet, on average, sank to $3.95 in 2011.

"The U.S used about 25.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2008," he said. "If one multiplies the difference at $3.95, the total amount will hit $103 billion, which was saved. This decrease in prices has been stipulated by active development of non-traditional, that is, tight gas, shale gas and coal bed methane fields in the U.S."

He added that at present, such import-dependent countries as Japan and South Korea have to pay in advance 14 percent per one cubic foot of liquefied gas.

"French Total SA recently bought a 25 percent share in the shale deposit Utica (Ohio) for $ 2.3 million by selling some oil assets," he said. "Total SA head explained journalists that the oil fields will remain in the past and the company's policy will focus on the development of alternative gas production. For example, Qatar has already converted methane to liquid fuel."

"It is necessary to drill long horizontal wells for commercial shale gas extraction," the expert said.