Methane as a main component to gas has been studied extensively, and the sources of gas mainly composed of methane keeps increasing due to exploration and studies done in areas untouched. Shale gas, found trapped within shale formations, is one of those
gasses. Shale gas is one form of natural gas that is composed mainly of methane, and commonly found underground in shale rock.

Shale in itself is a fine-grained sedimentary rock, which has small spaces, smaller than commonly found, with pores containing gas. The spaces, due to them not being interconnected with each other, fails to provide flow for gas.
Back in 2015, there were estimates of the total amount of unproven but technically recoverable resources, which lies on 214.6 trillion cubic meters (tcm) [1]. Largest estimates includes:

● China (31.6 tcm)
● Argentina (22.7 tcm)
● Algeria (20 tcm)
● United States (17.6 tcm)
● Canada (16.2 tcm)
● Poland (4.1 tcm)
● France (3.9 tcm)
● United Kingdom (0.7 tcm)

It’s important to keep shale gas information at hand due to the projection that shale gas would account for 30% of natural gas production globally, by 2040 [2]. Shale gas can be extracted through hydraulic fracturing, also commonly known as fracking. The act of fracking starts with drilling down deep holes into shale rock, with horizontal drilling soon after to access more of the gas, due to shale reserves being distributed horizontally, rather than vertically. Fracking fluids which contain miscellaneous materials are then pumped into previously drilled holes in order to enable trapped gas to flow towards collection wells, and pipelines after, for commercial use.

The problem with fracking resides around the natural / environmental impacts which is believed to be directly caused by fracking. In 2012, a report by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK stated that shale gas extraction, with large quantities of water pumped under the surface, could cause earth tremors locally under certain conditions, but these events are unlikely to cause any major damage.


[1] “What is shale gas, how is it extracted through fracking and what are fracking's impacts?,” Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the
environment, 11-Feb-2022. [Online]. Available :https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminstitute/explainers/what-is-shale-gas-how-is-it-extracted-through-fracking-and-what-are-frackings-impacts/#:~:text=Shale%20gas%20is%20a%20form,over%20a%20much%20larger%20area. [Accessed: 29-Mar-2023].
[2] F. Aloulou and V. Zaretskaya, “Shale gas production drives World Natural Gas Production Growth,” Homepage -U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 15-Aug-2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=27512. [Accessed: 29-Mar-2023].
[3] A. A. Patria, “Menilik Perkembangan shale gas Dan Potensinya di Indonesia,” UGM, 20-Jun-2020. [Online]. Available: https://ugrg.ft.ugm.ac.id/artikel/menilikperkembangan-shale-gas-dan-potensinya-di-indonesia/. [Accessed: 29-Mar-2023]

This article is written by :
Fauzaan Bareza Sudrajat

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