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Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”, the divisive method of extracting natural gas from shale formations, should be approached with caution by countries seeking ways to increase access to energy, says a new UNCTAD report on shale gas.

NGT wants to know if TN has taken up any study on the impact of the project

The Task Force on Shale Gas released its third report looking at how the development of a UK shale industry would affect overall climate impact. The report’s overarching finding is that shale gas has a role to play as an interim baseload energy source in the UK energy mix over the medium term.

The market for thermal coal is in structural decline in the United States. Squeezed out by an abundance of cheap shale gas and ever tightening pollution laws, it may be a harbinger of things to come for other fossil fuel markets globally. This report paints a bleak picture and makes grim reading for investors.

The most important energy development of the past decade has been the wide deployment of hydraulic fracturing technologies that enable the production of previously uneconomic shale gas resources in North America. If these advanced gas production technologies were to be deployed globally, the energy market could see a large influx of economically competitive unconventional gas resources. The climate implications of such abundant natural gas have been hotly debated. Some researchers have observed that abundant natural gas substituting for coal could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Hydrocarbon production from unconventional sources is growing rapidly, accompanied by concerns about drinking-water contamination and other environmental risks. Using noble gas and hydrocarbon tracers, we distinguish natural sources of methane from anthropogenic contamination and evaluate the mechanisms that cause elevated hydrocarbon concentrations in drinking water near natural-gas wells. We document fugitive gases in eight clusters of domestic water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales, including declining water quality through time over the Barnett.

World markets for petroleum and other liquid fuels have entered a period of dynamic change—in both supply and demand. Potential new supplies of oil from tight and shale resources have raised optimism for significant new sources of global liquids.

Shale resources are unevenly distributed worldwide and, for the most part, not located where freshwater is abundant. For example, China, Mexico, and South Africa have some of the largest technically recoverable shale gas resources (based on estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration), but face high to extremely high water stress where the shale is located. This report analyzes water availability across all potentially commercial shale resources worldwide. It also reveals that water availability could limit shale resource development on every continent except Antarctica.