China's bauxite resources are expected to see more demand from ceramic proppant manufacturers as the country looks next in line for major shale gas development and a boom in hydraulic fracturing.
However, although dominant with the world's largest technically recoverable reserves of shale gas, China is not alone in the Asia Pacific region regarding shale gas and oil potential: significant interest is growing in Australia, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
There is increasing recognition that a new and influential phase of unconventional oil and gas production will emerge from Asia Pacific in the near-medium future.
At present, China is the only source of ceramic proppants in the region. The situation raises some questions:
What is the current status of Chinese proppant production and consumption?
What are the challenges and opportunities for China's shale gas development?
How will the development of shale gas resources in both China and Asia Pacific impact China's proppant supply sector?
What will be the effect on Chinese ceramic proppant exports, already supplying a large share of the booming North American market?
Will bauxite feedstock for Chinese proppant manufacture threaten bauxite for other non-metallurgical uses such as refractories, abrasives, cement, welding?
And how will the select few ceramic proppant producers outside China react to this development?
This presentation by Mike O'Driscoll, Global Head of Research, Industrial Minerals, includes preliminary findings from ongoing research in preparation of a forthcoming Industrial Minerals Research multi client report "China's Proppants Market" covering raw material, supply, and consumption of Chinese frac sand and ceramic proppants see www.indmin.com/research for details.