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Global Shale Gas Initiative: South America
To support a greater understanding of the potential for unconventional gas resource development in the Americas supporting economic development and cleaner energy supply.
The Department of State launched the Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI) in April 2010 in order to help countries seeking to utilize their unconventional natural gas resources to identify and develop them safely and economically.
Shale gas is one of the most rapidly expanding trends in onshore U.S. oil and gas exploration and production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), during the last decade, U.S. shale gas production has increased fourteen-fold; it now accounts for 22% of U.S. gas production and 32% of total remaining recoverable gas resources in the United States. Future climate policies could increase demand for shale gas since it is a lower-carbon “bridge fuel” to reduce CO2 emissions. The ultimate goals of GSGI are to achieve greater energy security, meet environmental objectives and further U.S. economic and commercial interests. A further benefit from this initiative is the potential for establishing and strengthening long-term working relationships at the technical and ministerial levels.
Although the U.S. shale gas experience cannot be precisely duplicated, its application through GSGI can be instrumental in helping governments understand the complexities of shale gas development. Governments often have limited capability to assess their own country’s shale resource potential or are unclear about how to develop shale gas in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner through establishing the right regulatory policy and fiscal structures. Countries have been selected to participate in GSGI based in part on the known presence of natural gas-bearing shale within their borders, market potential, business climates, geopolitical synergies, and host government interest. South American countries that participate in GSGI include Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay.
The GSGI uses government-to-government policy engagement to bring the U.S. federal and state governments’ technical expertise, regulatory experience and diplomatic capabilities to help selected countries understand their shale gas potential. Our programs are tailored to each country’s specific needs and availability of funding, and our activities could include shale gas resource assessments, guidance on appropriate regulatory policies and fiscal structures challenges, as well as invitations to conferences, meetings, training and public-private sector events in the United States.
Shale gas development has been a game changer in the United States, strengthening energy security and reducing carbon emissions; through the GSGI, shale gas could be a game changer for South American countries as well.
U.S. Department of State
September 3, 2010 - Global Shale Gas Initiative: Balancing Energy Security and Environmental Concerns
Assessment of Potential Shale Gas and Shale Oil Resources of the Norte Basin, Uruguay, 2011