Les répercussions mondiales de la révolution du schiste

MADRID – Plusieurs milliers de négociateurs sont actuellement réunis à Varsovie dans le cadre des discussions des Nations unies autour du changement climatique, et œuvrent à l’élaboration d’un projet d’accord international complet censé aboutir en 2015. Or, tandis que ces négociateurs y travaillent, le paysage énergétique planétaire ne cesse d’évoluer, et cela de manière considérable. La majeure partie des émissions mondiales de CO2 émanant de la production énergétique et du transport, il est absolument essentiel de surveiller étroitement ces évolutions.

Il convient en particulier de noter combien l’onde de choc suscitée par la révolution déclenchée aux États-Unis autour de l’énergie issue du schiste se répercute à l’échelle internationale. À travers l’avènement de la fracturation hydraulique, ou « fracking, » la production pétrolière américaine a augmenté de 30%, et la production gazière de 25%, en à peine cinq ans. Au début du siècle, le gaz de schiste ne contribuait que de manière infime à l’approvisionnement en gaz naturel aux États-Unis ; l’an dernier, cette part du gaz de schiste avait déjà grimpé jusqu’à atteindre 34%, l’Agence américaine d’information sur l’énergie prévoyant une poursuite de cette augmentation jusqu’à une proportion de 50% d’ici 2040. Compte tenu de cette nouvelle manne, le prix des énergies a significativement diminué sur le territoire américain.

Forts de multiples atouts géographiques, les États-Unis sont aujourd’hui sur la voie de l’autosuffisance énergétique, et en tirent un certain nombre d’avantages économiques évidents. Le développement de cette approche non conventionnelle à l’égard du pétrole et du gaz a permis de faire travailler 2,1 millions d’employés, et a contribué en 2012 aux caisses de l’État à hauteur de 74 milliards $ en recettes fiscales et redevances. Quant à la compétitivité industrielle, elle bénéficie d’un essor considérable, compte tenu du niveau sensiblement plus élevé des prix du gaz en Europe et en Asie. Compagnies de raffinerie et sociétés pétrochimiques affluent aujourd’hui en masse vers les États-Unis.

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