Tight Gas Market: Introduction
- Tight gas is a type of unconventional gas that is trapped in a low-permeability source rock deep underground, such as sandstone or limestone.
- The gas is not freely flowing; methods such as hydraulic fracturing or fracking uses high-pressure water injection to break up the source rock and extract the gas. Most tight gas formations are found onshore, and land seismic techniques are undergoing transformations to better map out where drilling and development of these unconventional plays. Typical land seismic techniques include exploding dynamite and vibrose or measuring vibrations produced by purpose-built trucks.
Key Drivers and Restraints of Tight Gas Market
- Demand for tight gas is expected to increase at a significant rate during the forecast period due to an increase in demand for energy and diminishing reserves of the usual gas
- Stringent policies for safeguarding the atmosphere, together with extended phases of government assessment and issuance of licenses, are key factors that are estimated to restrain the tight gas market during the forecast period
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Tight Gas Market: Application Segment
- In terms of application, the global tight gas market can be divided into industrial, power generation, residential, commercial, and transportation
- Among them, the industrial segment is estimated to dominate the market in the next five years. This expansion can be attributed to the utilization of several tight gas value-added outputs required in the industrial sector. For instance, it is used as a feedstock for the manufacturing of fertilizers, chemicals, and various other commodities. This trend has generated several opportunities for tight gas-rich countries to use this abundant resource in order to expand their industrial output in the next few years.
- The residential sector held a significant market share due to the extensive application of tight gas across household requirements. A majority of tight gas is utilized for space heating and water heating in households. Rising use of tight gas in the residential sector has fueled the development of the piped natural gas network in order to supply gas directly to homes.
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Covid-19 Impact on Global Tight Gas Market
- On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Originating in China, the virus has spread to at least 214 countries and territories around the world.
- Several governments and private sector businesses are operating at a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely due to recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic
- The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disturbance in the supply chain due to the global lockdown in several countries. Also, the spread of coronavirus caused a fall in demand for chemical intermediates due to uncertainty in the global economy and capital markets.
- Therefore, the number of major chemicals-producing & consuming countries witnessed significant variation in demand for tight gas from end-use applications such as industrial, power generation, residential, commercial, and transportation due to the pandemic
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North America to hold a leading share of global tight gas market
- In terms of region, the tight gas market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America is expected to hold a major share of the global tight gas market, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe, during the forecast period
- North America dominates the global tight gas market. It is estimated to maintain its dominance during the forecast period due to the advanced drilling technologies and presence of various tight gas reserves in the region.
- The Federal Government of the U.S. has been promoting investments in the exploration of unconventional gas through public-private partnerships. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a charge on interstate gas sales to fund gas technology R&D. This has accelerated investment in R&D in the unconventional gas market. Discovery of new natural gas reserves, especially in the U.S., China, Argentina, and Canada, offers significant opportunity for the unconventional gas market.
- Deployment of advanced drilling technologies, along with the presence of several tight gas reserves across the Permian Basin, Anadarko, Niobrara, and Bakken field, is a key factor driving the market across the region