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Summary of Week 1

Whatever the exact figure, Asia’s energy demand will rise faster than any other region – driven in large part by China, and to a lesser extent by India.

Asia’s population will keep rising (from 3.8bn in 2010 to 4.6bn in 2040), and economic growth is set to continue its impressive record. Forecasts for which fuels will meet this growing energy demand vary, but all observers agree that the share of gas will rise. Many reasons lie behind the expected rise of gas in Asia. Electricity producers will contribute significantly to demand.

Today, Asia’s power sector is heavily reliant on coal – roughly 60 percent of Asia’s electricity comes from coal compared to 40 percent globally, and in China the figure was 80 percent and currently down to 65 percent. Most observers expect the use of coal to keep growing for at least a decade.

However, over time, gas will increasingly begin to replace coal. The potential of US unconventional gas is a giant game-changer for the natural gas and LNG industry. Until recently, many people thought that gas was a declining resource. But with the ability to extract unconventional gas, that view has completely changed. Global reserves of extractable gas have more than doubled.

Next week, we are going to examine how this game-changing unconventional gas revolution resulted in the collapse of oil prices and whether the US shale revolution could be replicated outside the US. Next week’s lectures also consider the reasons why U.S. production of crude oil continued rising even under low oil prices.

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Resource Politics: the Past, Present and Future of Oil, Gas and Shale

Hanyang University