China Announces Shale Gas Reserves

China has announced that preliminary surveys show the country has explorable shale-gas reserves of 25.1 trillion cubic metres.

The official appraisal of shale gas reserves was provided by the nation's The Ministry of Land and Resources.

While the figure is slightly lower than earlier foecasts, they still exceed US Energy Information Administration estimates of 13.6 trillion cubic metres, which were revised down from 23 trillion as indicated in earlier studies.

The reserves are in theory, enough to meet China's gas needs for the next two centuries.

"China is rich in shale gas resources, which are suitable for scaled development," said Yu Haifeng, Deputy Director of the ministry. "But the geological conditions are complex and our exploration technology lags behind advanced countries. If the country's shale gas output exceeds 100bn cubic meters by 2020, the fuel will become an important source of China's energy supply."

“China’s natural gas consumption continues to grow fast and supply is tight. If China’s shale gas annual output is able to surpass 100bn cubic metres by 2020, China’s entire oil and gas resources structure would be changed and [shale gas] would become an important pillar,” Mr Yu added.

A report by the US EIA last year said China's "technically recoverable" reserves were 50pc greater than in the US.

China's shale gas fields are located in Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou and Shaanxi provinces, as well as the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Chongqing.

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