Shale Gas Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Shale Gas Market is segmented by Geography (North America, South America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Middle-East and Africa).

Market Snapshot

Shale Gas Market Summary
Study Period: 2018- 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >9 %
Shale Gas Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The shale gas market is expected to register a CAGR of more than 9.0% during the period of 2021-2026. The COVID-19 has brought the largest change in the industry since the beginning of the shale boom in 2007. The pandemic is expected to impede the growth of the market, with most of the risky assets being restructured and many companies either leaving or soon to leave the basins till the price point becomes profitable. Factors, such as an increase in consumption of oil and the rising growth in the oil-dependent industries, are expected to drive the market. However, volatility in the oil market with prices going below the shale gas production cost may be a restraint.

  • Increasing environmental concerns during the production of shale gas are expected to restrain the market studied.
  • New developments in shale gas production technology, like the advancements in horizontal drilling technology, are expected to make the shale gas reservoirs more viable, and this may provide an opportunity for market players.
  • North America is expected to be the largest market in the forecast period, owing to its large-scale production of shale gas in the region. The United States is expected to lead shale gas production in the region.

Scope of the Report

The shale gas market report includes:

North America
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Environmental Concerns to Restrain the Market

  • Despite the economic benefits, environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing are restraining the shale gas market.
  • Methane gas emissions during the drilling process pose potential air pollution risks. Additionally, incorrect disposal of large volumes of chemically treated water used in hydraulic fracturing operations can potentially cause severe surface water contamination. This has attracted criticism from environment protection bodies and NGOs around the world. Due to its impact on health and farming, local farmers and residents have also repeatedly opposed hydraulic fracturing. ​
  • Additionally, a typical fracking well requires approximately 2-10 million gallons of water during fracking operations, which puts additional strain on the water supply, particularly in the drought-prone regions. ​
  • In West Texas, where the Permian Basin (which is expected to drive the growth of shale gas activities in the United States) is located, shale gas companies faced opposition and criticism from the farmers due to the water shortage.
  • The US Geological Survey (USGS) blamed shale gas activities for the increase in earthquakes in recent times in certain parts of the Central and Eastern United States that are well-known for oil and gas extraction. ​
  • Thus, the increasing environmental concerns are expected to restrain the market during the forecast period.
Shale Gas Market : Shale Gas Production, in billion cubic feet (bcf), United States, 2010-2020

North America to Dominate the Market

  • In 2019, the United States was the largest producer of shale gas in the world. Different countries, such as Brazil, Canada, China, and Argentina, have tried to emulate the American shale boom but have not been able to succeed. However, large progress has been made in China, but due to the difficulties posed by the unstable reservoirs, shale gas production may only rise slightly in the forecast period.
  • In January 2021, Reliance Industries Ltd agreed to sell its entire stake in certain upstream assets in the Marcellus shale gas asset in south-western Pennsylvania in the United States for USD 250 million amid weakness in the global hydrocarbon market. The assets, controlled by RIL’s wholly-owned unit Reliance Marcellus LLC and operated by affiliates of EQT Corporation, a US-based energy company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration and pipeline transport, were sold to Northern Oil and Gas (NOG) Inc. The shock caused by COVID-19 caused many smaller investors in the shale region to delay or abandon the projects in the industry.
  • The shale gas production in the United States increased, by 1.8%, from 835.247 billion cubic feet (bcf) in 2019 to 850.192 bcf in 2020. Shale gas production may increase further due to new wells being drilled across the country.
  • Canada is known to have significant conventional gas reserves, and the country was a key supplier of natural gas to the United States for decades until the recent shale boom in the country. However, with conventional natural gas sources in decline, Canada’s industry is turning to unconventional sources, including shale gas. Many oil and gas companies are now exploring and developing shale gas resources in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and New Brunswick, which may balance the difference in shale gas production in the coming future.
  • An estimation by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that the US dry shale gas production in 2020 was about 850 bcm. The current scenario of the region may demand more natural gas supply during the forecast period, which may attract investment in the exploration and production of shale gas.
  • Hence, North America is expected to dominate the market due to the overwhelming production of shale on the continent.
Shale Gas Market - Growth Rate by Regions, 2021 - 2026

Competitive Landscape

The shale gas market is moderately fragmented due to many companies operating in the industry. The key players in this market include Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corporation, PetroChina Company Limited, and ConocoPhillips, among others.

Major Players

  1. Royal Dutch Shell PLC

  2. Exxon Mobil Corporation

  3. ConocoPhillips Company

  4. Chevron Corporation

  5. PetroChina Company Limited

Shale Gas Market Concentration

Recent Developments

  • North Dakota voted to repurpose USD 221 million in federal coronavirus aid to various state agencies, including a USD 16-million grant to oil companies supporting the fracking process. The aid comes from the USD 1.25 billion awarded to the state through the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act. This development is expected to aid both the shale oil and gas companies in the region.
  • Fracking activity in Vaca Muerta shot up by more than 55% month on month in November 2020. The number of frac stages in the play rose to 545 in November 2020 from 345 in October 2020.
  • In January 2021, state majors PetroChina and Sinopec pledged to lift shale gas production domestically by 75% to 35 bcm in the next five years (by 2026).

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of the Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Shale Gas Production and Forecast in billion cubic meter (BCM), until 2026

    3. 4.3 Recent Trends and Developments

    4. 4.4 Government Policies and Regulations

    5. 4.5 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.5.1 Drivers

      2. 4.5.2 Restraints

    6. 4.6 Supply Chain Analysis

    7. 4.7 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.7.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.7.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.7.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.7.4 Threat of Substitutes Products and Services

      5. 4.7.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Geography

      1. 5.1.1 North America

      2. 5.1.2 South America

      3. 5.1.3 Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.1.4 Europe

      5. 5.1.5 Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Antero Resources Corp.

      2. 6.3.2 Southwestern Energy Company

      3. 6.3.3 EQT Corporation

      4. 6.3.4 Equinor ASA

      5. 6.3.5 Repsol SA

      6. 6.3.6 SINOPEC/Shs

      7. 6.3.7 Chesapeake Energy Corporation

      8. 6.3.8 Royal Dutch Shell PLC

      9. 6.3.9 Exxon Mobil Corporation

      10. 6.3.10 Chevron Corporation

      11. 6.3.11 PETROCHINA/Shs

      12. 6.3.12 ConocoPhillips

      13. 6.3.13 Pioneer Natural Resources

    4. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability
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Frequently Asked Questions

The Shale Gas Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Shale Gas Market is growing at a CAGR of >9% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2021.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company, Chevron Corporation, PetroChina Company Limited are the major companies operating in Shale Gas Market.

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