The exploration of shale gas, the non conventional natural gas produced from the exploitation of shale by means of a process known as hydraulic fracturing, has been growing worldwide and presents itself as an interesting energetic alternative.

The progress of shale gas depends on certain essential factors, such as a strong State support, especially regarding the provision of a sensible regulatory framework, and the necessary infrastructure for the gas production.

On January 11, 2013, after an audience with the President, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Edison Lobão, asserted that the Federal Government intends to implement, still in 2013, approximately December, a specific bid for the exploration of natural gas and unconventional resources in Brazil, with particular focus on shale gas. On the occasion, the Minister reminded the key role played by unconventional resources - such as shale gas - on the energy revolution that occurred in the United States.

Although the terms, conditions and other information relating to such specific bid have still not been published, it is certain that the Federal Government has clearly demonstrated the desire to estimulate and facilitate, later this year, the production of the so called unconventional gases in the country. Undoubtedly, the action represents an important step in the Brazilian energy sector, especially given the current speculations about possible electricity rationing in Brazil. Indeed, more than the announcement of a bid round, the warning shows that the Federal Government is seeking to diversify the Brazilian energy matrix.