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People's Daily Online>>China Business

China steps up exploring for shale gas

(Xinhua)

15:49, March 01, 2012

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- China will intensify its efforts to explore for shale gas to help restructure the country's energy supplies and fuel its economic growth, the Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday.

China has 25.08 trillion cubic meters of explorable shale gas reserves (excluding Qinghai and Tibet), Yu Haifeng, deputy director of the ministry's geological exploration department, said at a briefing, citing the ministry's latest survey.

Shale gas resources are widely dispersed over the country. The Sichuan Basin, the Ordos Basin, the Tarim Basin, the western Hubei-Eastern Chongqing area, and the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan boast huge stores of the substance, the survey showed.

"China is facing tight gas supply on booming demand. If the country's shale gas output exceeds 100 billion cubic meters by 2020, the fuel will become an important source of China's energy supply," Yu said.

The official called for breakthroughs and innovations in exploration technologies to catch up with developed countries.

Shale gas, a clean and high-efficiency energy resource, is produced from shale through a complicated process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

The government has strengthened the survey and appraisal of shale gas in recent months to speed up the development of the industry.

Last year, the State Council, or the Cabinet, approved the listing of shale gas as an independent mineral resource, taking the number of mineral resources discovered in China to 172.

More than 420 researchers from oil companies, colleges and geological exploration agencies and research institutions participated in the survey.

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