Legal Business

The $6.4trn question – as legal advisers jostle for position, can shale gas live up to the hype?

Jaishree Kalia assesses the big hopes and big risks facing the emerging shale gas industry

Every few years a new sector or niche comes along that promises huge opportunities for law firms that can tactically position themselves. Such hyped sectors often turn out to disappoint, but there is no doubt that the shale gas industry has become the latest – and hottest – touted market.

It’s not hard to see why interest has been piqued. In a little over a decade, shale gas has transformed the energy dynamics of the world’s largest economy, now constituting over 20% of US energy production. Having turned the US into an energy exporter, it is expected to exceed 40% of US energy output by 2035.