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nergy prices around the world continue to rise as developed and developing countries continue to use more and more energy on a daily basis. The demand puts huge pressure on supplies and encourages energy producers to invest in the exploration of new technologies and alternative sources. There is a great deal of pressure to find new oil and gas reserves but finding and extracting the resources can be very costly, resulting in higher prices.
A recent report by MarketsandMarkets highlights the impact the oil and gas exploration, extraction and refining have on the tubular goods market. Findings suggest that between 2014 and 2019 demand for tubular products will increase approximately 7%, particularly because of offshore activities and shale gas exploration. Demand for both ERW tube products and seamless pipes will increase, meaning there is great potential for producers to expand their services.
Europe is an emerging market for shale gas and is estimated to have large untapped reserves to call on. Extensive research has been done in the UK to try to estimate how large the gas and oil reserves could be. Initial surveys suggested the stores could be comparable in size to those in the North Sea. Subsequent work revised the number up even further. One study conducted by BGS (British Geological Survey) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change suggested that across Central Britain there was a store of shale gas measuring 37.7 trillion cubic metres, enough to meet the energy needs of the UK for over 40 years.
Shale gas exploration may still be in its infancy in the UK but if it gets the go ahead the demand for infrastructure will increase dramatically. This means tubing manufacturers could find themselves with huge orders to fill and bigger profits to make. With any gas or oil system there is demand for tubing for the extraction, transportation and refining of resources. Both ERW tube and seamless tube products will be needed to create infrastructure.