In recent years, development of shale gas reserves in North America has had a major impact on the energy industry. The availability of cheaper fuel has impacted on many other industries, too.

Other regions have been slower to start exploring and developing their own shale reserves but the market is picking up pace in countries around the world, particularly in China where it is driven by the country's huge energy needs and increasing dependence on natural gas.

A new report from Allied Market Research predicts that the global shale gas market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3 percent in 2014-2020 and will be worth $104.1 billion by the end of the forecast period. Volume consumption is anticipated to reach 19,619.4 bcf by 2020.

The market research firm noted that the application of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques has almost doubled the efficiency of shale gas retrieval.

The highest revenue in the global shale gas market is generated in North America, but the Asia-Pacific and European regions also have tremendous potential to grow as a significant number of reserves are untapped in these countries, Allied Market Research said.

To help expand their global reach and improve their services, top players in the shale gas market are making acquisitions and entering into joint ventures, partnerships and collaborations.