Energy Companies Rush into Shale Gas Development in China
BEIJING, Dec 12, 2011 (Menafn - SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --Chinese and foreign energy companies are rushing into shale gas development in China, where there are rich shale gas reserves.
PetroChina Company Limited recently identified shale gas resource in Sichuan province with measured reserves of 1 trillion cubic meters. It has drilled over 200 wells in southern Sichuan province's hot shale region, of which the daily output is over 10,000 cubic meters, said a source. The company is assessing the size of potential reserves there.
The company invested a lot of money into shale gas exploration in 2006 and later set up a project for pilot shale gas development in the assessment area of Sichuan Basin. The first shale gas well started drilling in December 2009, which had the oil and gas indication on September 20, 2010 and started to produce gas from November 9. PetroChina established shale gas industrialization demonstration region in Weiyuan region and Changning region later.
China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) tapped into shale gas sector in 2008. It this July won a bid for prospecting of a shale gas exploration area in the junction of Chongqing, southern Guizhou and Sichuan. This was China's first public bid for oil and gas exploration right.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. also accelerates the pace of expanding into shale gas sector. The three oil giants takes shale gas development as a core part of therir 12th five-year development plan (2011-2015).
Shale gas is an important alternative for petroleum and coal, and there is great growth potential in the commercial development of shale gas. The United States has reduced dependency on petroleum by virtue of shale gas development, supported by major breakthroughs in horizontal wells and multi-stage fracturing technologies, said a top executive at PetroChina.
There are 1,275 trillion cubic feet extractable shale gas reserves in China, which can sustain the domestic use for over 300 years based on the current consumption. China has made a preliminary estimate that there are about 21.5 trillion to 45 trillion cubic meters of shale gas resources at home with a median of 30 trillion cubic meters. A majority of the shale gas resources are deposited in the southern, northwestern, northern, northeastern and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
A source from National Energy Commission reveals that the state has drawn up the 12th five-year plan for shale gas development and will publish it in near future.
Some international energy giants like Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Norsk Statoil and Chevron Corporation have dabbled in shale gas development in China. Some Chinese leading private enterprises led by Xinjiang Guanghui Industry Investment Group and MIE Holdings Corporation are in preparations for shale gas exploration and development.
Limited by exploration technologies and equipments, the Chinese government is encouraging various investors into shale gas exploration and development to boost the rapid development of this industry.
Source: www.163.com (December 12, 2011)
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