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A Treasure Trove of Resources

(Beijing Review)

08:07, September 06, 2012

(Photo/China Daily)

Looking to satisfy its growing fuel demands, China is turning to shale gas, natural gas trapped within rock formations.

"China has huge reserves of shale gas. If successful industrialized production is realized, it would significantly ease the nation's energy strain," said Li Shousheng, deputy head of the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation.

China has about 20 percent of the world's total shale gas reserves, the largest in the world, according to a report published by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) on July 23.

The top five countries with the largest minable shale gas reserves are China, the United States, Argentina, Mexico and South Africa.

China's interest in shale gas exploration is increasing with an estimated output of 6.5 billion cubic meters expected by 2015. From 2016 to 2020, the country will enter a fast-growth period in shale gas exploration and development, Liu Tienan, head of the National Energy Administration, said.

Shale gas is formed by gas trapped within shale formations. With methane as its main ingredient, it is a clean and efficient source of energy. The gas is collected through a complicated process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas and may transform the world's future energy outlook.

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