On Sunday, we reported that the domestic transfer of petroleum products is rising and natural gas production from the Bakken shale was booming.Exxon Mobil plans to push further into unconventional energy as shale becomes an increasingly important contributor to the company’s production pipeline, executives told the Wall Street Journal today.
The Texas-based company will begin evaluating global assets to determine sites that present the best shale reserves, including those in Argentina, China, Germany, and Poland. Costs to extract liquids from shale have dropped precipitously since the mid-2000s, when prices could run more than $14 per million BTU. Today, the price is closer to $4.
“We do believe there is potential for unconventional oil development from shale resources globally,” Mark Albers, Exxon’s senior vice president, said. “We are pursuing that not only in a number of the countries where we have unconventional gas potential but also here in the U.S.”
However, the development of the resource overseas will take longer than many expect. The boom in North America was predicated on well known regional geographies and robust existing infrastructure, not the case in many of the company’s other operating territories.
Exxon is joined by energy companies like Chesapeake Energy, which has also been drilling or planning shale developments. The company’s CEO, Aubrey McClendon, believes the U.S. could begin exporting natural gas, including derivations from shale, by 2015.