China's Shale Gas Goals


"China's target set to identify 5080 shale gas prospects by 2020."

China last week launched its first national shale gas research centre to support the country's development of the fuel.

Encouraged by the boom in shale natural gas drilling in the United States and driven by recurring domestic gas shortages, China has fast-tracked plans to explore the unconventional fuel in its homeland.

Early 2010, a research arm of the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) set a target for the country to identify 5080 shale gas prospects and 2030 exploration and development blocks by 2020.

The Strategic Research Centre for Oil and Gas of MLR also set a goal to locate one trillion cubic meters of recoverable shale gas reserves, build 1530 billion cubic meters of production capacity and produce 8%12% of China's natural gas from shale gas wells by 2020.

MLR's targets can be a reference to the industry, dominated by power energy giants PetroChina and Sinopec Corp., each of which has set their own goals to develop the frontier resource.

State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which runs most gas and oil businesses via listed PetroChina, aims to produce 500 million cubic meters (mcm) of shale gas by 2015, a deputy general manager said in July

Sinopec aims to have combined production capacity of 2.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas and coalbed methane gas by the end of 2015.

Major oil firms have just started evaluating potential shale gas deposits in parts of the country though some Chinese reports estimated that the country may hold up to 30 trillion cubic meters of shale gas resources.

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