The USA began exploiting unconventional gas resources 40 years ago, eventually leading to a domestic shale gas production increase from 4% to 56%, 2005 to 2015. Many countries and major oil and gas companies strive to match this success.

Using public information to research USA key success factors helped establish a holistic framework to assess and expedite shale gas development in other countries. This framework is intended for international market experts now guiding their countries and companies toward similar success. The framework has been applied to China and Poland to provide highlights, lowlights and specific recommendations for conditions in those countries.

The analysis splits six factors into two categories: 1) subsurface factors related to exploration, development, drilling and fracturing of the prolific shale-system; and 2) technical and non-technical surface factors including the involvement of the State (which has consistently directed and stimulated unconventional gas development), the roles of oil companies and service companies, the availability of required materials and water and the related logistical capability, and the gas market and infrastructure.

The findings highlight the importance of abandoning conventional oil and gas mindsets and processes in favor of proven unconventional shale gas development approaches.

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