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China's shale gas market defies global trends, sees increased output

(People's Daily)
Updated: 2016-04-08 09:55

Even in the midst of lowering oil prices throughout the global market, China's shale gas output has registered a year-on-year growth of 258.5 percent, amounting to more than 4.4 billion cubic meters (bcm).

The proven geological reserves of shale gas amounted to more than 437 bcm last year, including more than 109 bcm of technically recoverable shale gas resources, said Yu Haifeng, Director-General of the Department of Mineral Reserves at a press conference yesterday. He added that the remaining technically recoverable shale gas resources were around 130 bcm by the end of 2015.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan, China's geological reserve of shale gas totaled more than 544 bcm, Yu said. He also pointed out that China's shale gas output has reached more than 5.7 bcm since the shale gas field was opened for commercial operation in 2014.

However, China's shale gas output in 2015 missed the target of 6.5 bcm, a goal set in 2012.

When it comes to shale gas exploitation, China is at a disadvantage in terms of theoretical knowledge, technology, environmentally suitable mining areas and cost. For instance, the mining of shale gas requires water, and some research institutions say that more than three-fifths of Chinese shale gas fields are located in water-deficient areas. Besides, it is difficult for China to replicate the model of the U.S., as the two countries have different geological conditions and terrains.


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