Shale gas declared a priority

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, August 24, 2011
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China plans to declare shale gas a priority mineral so as to manage the unconventional gas resource better, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.

The country may hold 31 trillion cubic meters of recoverable shale gas reserves based on rough estimates, the ministry said in a statement on its website, citing an initial appraisal that covered 1.5 million square kilometers of shale-gas-rich areas.

Shale - underground oil and gas-bearing rocks - was uneconomical until advanced technologies were deployed in recent years in the United States. China is tapping foreign technology through partnerships and acquisitions.

Earlier this year, the US Energy Information Administration estimated China could have more than 36 trillion cubic meters of "technically recoverable" shale gas reserves, almost 50 percent higher than the US.

China in July awarded exploration rights to two shale blocks in the Sichuan Basin to Sinopec and Henan Province Coal Seam Gas Development and Utilization, marking the start of commercial shale gas exploration in China amid government efforts to boost the use of the cleaner fuel.

The land ministry said it will accelerate reform in managing shale gas resources so China could catch up with nations already tapping it commercially.

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