Australia’s economy relies on the production, distribution and consumption of natural gas.
Without gas, many industries would lack power and a vital ingredient in some of their chemical processes. In addition, electricity production would produce more emissions and would be more expensive and less reliable.
To make natural gas available for use, companies must first explore for, produce and distribute the gas.
Drilling rigs, wells and pipelines are vital to our modern way of life.
Natural gas exploration, drilling, production and pipelines are highly regulated and rely on technologies that have been developed over more than a century.
Developing gas from shales requires different approaches to operations involving other rock types.
Shale gas wells are targeting deep rocks with low permeability (which means that oil and gas do not flow as easily through the shales as they do through sandstones or coal seams).
Because of this, shale gas wells tend to require larger rigs. These wells always use hydraulic fracturing is used in order to increase permeability, and usually use horizontal drilling to increase the area of the reservoir exposed to the wellbore, which enhances the flow of gas.