(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) China plans to add 3.5 trillion cubic meters of proved conventional natural gas reserves during the 2011-15 period, the official news agency Xinhua reported Monday.
The latest development plan, compiled by the National Development and Reform Commission and approved by the State Council, also said that explorable reserves will reach around 1.9 trillion cubic meters.
By 2015, China aims to bring its natural gas supply capacity to around 176 billion cubic meters, making the energy reachable to 250 million people, or 18 percent of the population, according to the statement, carried by Xinhua. The development plan comes as the world's second-biggest energy market's appetite for natural gas has grown substantially with the country's industrialization and urbanization initiatives amid government's efforts to cut carbon emissions.
Currently, natural gas makes up only around 4.6 percent of China's primary-energy consumption, much lower than the international average of 23.8 percent. This leaves room for exploration potentials as the geological reserves of China's conventional natural gas is estimated at 52 trillion cubic meters, according to the statement.
Regarding the development of shale gas, a variety of unconventional natural gas, China plans to prove 600 billion cubic meters of geological reserves by 2015, with explorable reserves at 200 billion, the statement said, setting the output target of 6.5 billion cubic meters by that time. Based on statistics from the signed futures contracts, China's annual gas imports would reach around 93.5 billion cubic meters by 2015.