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Shale Exploration and Planning Increasingly Extends Beyond North America

Peak oil now seems to some like a promise from long ago that might just never be fulfilled. While demand for petroleum-based fuels has largely leveled off, the prophecies from years past about impending limits to supply have largely gone without being realized. The most important reason for this, of course, is that producers have discovered powerful new ways of extracting even more petroleum from the ground. Even stockpiles of underground petroleum that were once thought of as being off limits for good are now regularly extracted in profitable, reliable fashion.

The single most important development of this kind has been the relatively novel ability to pull both crude oil and natural gas from previously forbidding shale formations. Shale itself forms as mud slowly sets into place over millions of years, with typically tiny pockets of hydrocarbon-rich fuels sometimes coming along for the ride. In the past, accessing these relatively small deposits of petroleum and gas was thought of as simply too difficult to be worth the trouble. Since then, however, a wide range of technologies have been employed, especially in North America, to make this kind of extraction profitable, as well.

Those who view publisher site analysis of this kind of activity will discover that the United States and Canada are no longer the only places where it goes on. While these two countries have so far accounted for a large majority of the ongoing shale extraction boom, that is set to change. Deals that have been made in recent years have primed the pump for a great many other projects elsewhere in the world, with some being set to eclipse in size the largest North America has yet seen.

Just as with activity in the United States and Canada, though, the schedules involved will always depend on at least one important factor. Because it remains a significantly costlier means of extracting fuel than the more traditional approaches, shale exploration and production tends to be very sensitive to world market prices. Should petroleum prices once again surge upward to a higher level, though, and seem likely to remain there for some time, it is very much to be expected that activity levels in Argentina and other new targets for shale production will do the same.