Worldwide, Shell has approximately 50,000 km2 (12 million acres) of land holdings containing tight-gas or shale resources. Some 12,000 km2 (3 million acres) of liquids-rich shales were added in 2011 at a cost of around $2 billion.
Total global spending in these plays in 2012 will be some $6 billion. Development spending on North American tight gas will be around $3 billion for 2012 – similar to what it was in 2011. Those figures are at the low end of our spending range of $3-5 billion per year, reflecting the weak price of natural gas. We will also spend some $2 billion on exploration and appraisal of tight-gas and liquids-rich shale resources this year, with a focus on maturing our new liquids-rich portfolio.
Appraisal and development of new liquids-rich shale acreage could provide up to 250 thousand boe/d potential in 2017–2018.
We are moving to develop our Eagle Ford liquids-rich position, following a successful appraisal there in 2011. This forms part of a more than $1 billion development spending programme on North American liquids-rich shales in 2012.