Rethinking unconventional oil and gas: Kemp

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production of oil and gas from conventional fields and from unconventional resources such as shale. production of oil and gas from conventional fields and from unconventional resources such as shale.
SummaryIn practice it is not easy to tell where conventional petroleum production ends and unconventional production begins.

under state control or at least heavily regulated. Monopoly suppliers of oil and gas are likely to produce less and seek higher prices.

Only countries like Argentina or Ukraine, which have relatively modest conventional production but large shale resources, are likely to push for rapid development of unconventional resources.

China is something of an intermediate case. The country has enormous unconventional gas resources, especially in the Sichuan basin, which the government is keen to develop. But until now most of the prospecting activity has been controlled by a small number of state-owned firms that already produce conventional oil and gas.

Some observers, like the International Energy Agency, question whether this has blunted their incentive to explore and develop shale fields. The latest licensing round seems to try to solve that problem by awarding exploration licences to a much wider range of firms, many of which do not currently have conventional output.

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