Chinese Firms to Invest £1.3 Billion in Shale Gas Exploration
By Jerin Mathew | January 22, 2013 6:40 PM EST
China has granted shale gas exploration rights to 16 companies in a second round of auctions, as the country tries to find out more energy reserves to meet its rising needs.
China's Ministry of Land and Resources said that the companies will invest 12.8bn yuan ($2bn, £1.3bn) to search and develop 19 shale gas areas allotted to them.
The companies comprise of 14 state-owned firms and two private companies, and are part of a larger group of 57 companies that were given rights to explore shale gas blocks in October.
The first round of auctions for exploratory rights for four shale gas blocks was held in June 2011. The ministry has allotted 26 blocks for exploration so far.
The ministry will supervise the prospection and punish firms that fail to carry out work as promised, state-owned Xinhua news agency reported, citing an MLR official in charge of prospection. It will also monitor the impact of exploration on the geological environment.
The country has around 25 trillion cubic metres of shale gas reserves, according to the ministry's estimates. That makes it the world's largest in terms of shale gas reserves.
Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within fine-grained sedimentary rocks. The gas, which is more environment-friendly, is unleashed using the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
The move is in line with China's increasing demand for energy in line with its recent economic expansion. China is the world's No. 1 energy consumer at present, but depends heavily on imports for its energy needs.
By finding new energy sources, the country hopes to become more independent for its energy needs and avoid pricing problems.
Analysts expect China to become one of the largest shale gas producers in the world by 2030, while the country targets to raise shale gas production capacity to 6.5 billion cubic metres by 2015, representing about 6 percent of its total gas production at present.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Pope Francis Meets Sudanese Woman Who Was Spared Death for Apostasy (PHOTOS)
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
- Transfer News: FC Barcelona Shockingly Sign Valencia Defender [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Multi-Million Pound Law Suit Looms Over Putin’s Head, Assets At Risk
- 5 Uncanny Jobs That Actually Pay Very Well
- Ebola Virus on the Loose: World Cautioned as Infection Moves; Global Airports on High Alert; Kills Liberian Doctor, Infects American Worker
- 5 Marketing Nuggets We Can All Learn From Lady Gaga
- Advisory: Britons Told to Leave Libya ASAP, UK Issues Travel Ban
- Apple iPhone 6 on Two Confirmed Release Dates, New Parts Leaked Suggesting Bigger iPhone to Come
- Google Nexus 6, 8 with Android L on Release Date Promises Killer Mobile Device Experience
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlusOne vs Nexus 5: Mi4 is the ‘Perfect’ Phone
- Israeli Women Stripping Naked for IDF Soldiers
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- Shocking Video of Pedigree Dog Culling in Bali Emerges [Video]
- Sony Xperia Z3 Specs Leaked with More Killer Features Ahead of Samsung Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6