2014 is quite a pivotal year for oil and gas industry. There is a continuingly growing buzz about how the great shale energy boom is going to meet the challenges of energy crisis which the world will be facing in the coming years. This is an attempt to throw some light on this subject.
It’s been more than three centuries since oil shale has been in use for industrial purposes. However it was only until the latter half of 19th century that the usage of shale oil found widespread acceptance as a low grade fuel for power generation. The oil shale industry has been on and off the chart of most countries’ power generation plans. Its first wide scale commercial use can be attributed to World War I, following which there was an immediate requirement of fuel to power the exodus of automobiles and trucks and meet the shortage of gasoline for transformation of needs. However, with the discovery of large supplies of easily accessible and cheaper crude oil, oil shale production took a backseat. The global shale industry has grown again from the mid-1990s. Although Estonia remains the single largest producer of processed oil shale, other major economic powers such as United States and United Kingdom have also initiated significant oil shale development programs.