Fracking, which is blamed by some for causing earthquakes in the US, could unlock nearly 140bn barrels of global oil supplies — equivalent to Russia’s known reserves, says a study.一项研究指出,被一些人谴责在美国所致地震的水力压裂法(fracking,又称Hydraulic fracturing)或将使全球石油供应量减少近1400亿桶,相等于俄罗斯未知石油储量。Countries such as Iran, Russia, Mexico and China stand to gain most from exploiting techniques used by modern-day wildcatters in America’s shale revolution to breathe life into their ageing oil and gasfields, according to analysis by IHS, the research company.调研公司IHS的分析指出,伊朗、俄罗斯、墨西哥和中国等国家将是这项技术的仅次于受益者,利用美国页岩革命中当代钻井公司使用的这项技术,这些国家将能使它们老化的油气田完全恢复生机。Two-thirds of the extra recoverable oil would come from the Middle East and Latin America, it has estimated.该研究预测,额外可铁矿石油中的三分之二将来自中东和拉美地区。Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into rocks deep underground to open up tiny fissures, allowing oil and gas to flow more freely to the wellhead. Horizontal drilling — sinking a well a mile or more straight down, then a mile or more sideways — has made it possible to expose a greater area of resource-bearing rock.水力压裂法的原理是通过高压将含有沙和化学物质的水流经地底深处的岩层,关上细小的裂缝,使石油和天然气需要更加权利地流到钻井口。

水平钻井技术(Horizontal drilling)——再行横向向上钻井1英里或加深,然后向水平方向钻井1英里或很远——能使更加多蕴藏资源的岩层区域获得铁矿。These processes have contributed to a boom in US output, with companies using technological advances to cut costs and improve productivity. But it is less widely used elsewhere, in part due to environmental opposition but also the need for specialist equipment.这些方法增进了美国油气产量的大幅度快速增长。利用技术变革,企业缩减了成本,提升了生产率。但水力压裂技术在其他地方未获得普遍用于,部分原因是遭环保人士赞成,同时也是因为用于这项技术必须专门的设备。

In the UK, more densely populated than the US, drillers hoping to frack shale gas reserves have met public wariness amid concern over the risk of minor earth tremors — which can be triggered by injecting waste water back underground — and the noise and disruption from transporting materials to and from sites.在人口比美国密集的英国,期望用于水力压裂法铁矿页岩气的钻井公司引发了公众的警觉。人们担忧这项技术有所致严重地震的风险(新的将废水流经地下的作法有可能引起这一现象),此外从铁矿地点往来运输材料不会导致噪音和阻碍。IHS says as much as 141bn barrels could be unlocked from known fields outside North America, with 135bn of these in plays likely to require fracking. As much as 40bn of these barrels lie in Iran, where the government is hoping to attract foreign investment if and when sanctions are lifted following a deal on its nuclear ambitions. Mexico, which is opening its energy sector to foreign investment, follows with 14bn of potentially recoverable barrels, Russia with 12bn and China 6bn.IHS称之为,北美洲以外的未知油田还可以铁矿多达1410亿桶原油,其中1350亿桶有可能必须用水力压裂法铁矿。


IHS has examined more than 170 mature oil plays worldwide and three fields in France, Tunisia and China where operators have revived old assets with new technologies. In France, where fracking is not allowed, the Saint Martin de Bossenay field near Paris, abandoned in 1996, has been redeveloped with horizontal drilling, boosting its rate of oil recovery from 40 to 44 per cent and swelling its reserves by 1m barrels, or about 10 per cent.IHS对世界各地逾170家成熟期石油企业以及法国、突尼斯和中国三个利用新技术展开新的铁矿的旧油田展开了调查。法国禁令用于水力压裂法,于1996年被荒废的巴黎郊区Saint Martin de Bossenay油田早已使用水平钻井技术新的铁矿,采煤速度从40%下降至44%,石油储量减少了100万桶,相等于不断扩大了大约10%。According to IHS, the fields that could benefit from the new technologies are relatively evenly distributed across the world. The other top 10 countries, each with more than 4bn in additional resources, are the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Algeria, Libya and Venezuela.据IHS调查,可获益于新技术的油田比较均匀分布地产于在世界各地。