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Shale gas exploration tender announced

By WANG QIAN  (China Daily)

08:05, September 11, 2012

China will launch its second shale gas exploration tender on Oct 25 in Beijing, as the country accelerates the search for its potential vast reserves of the energy resource, authorities said.

The tender will offer 20 blocks, about 20,002 square kilometers, to Chinese energy companies or Sino-foreign ventures with Chinese companies taking the majority stake, according to the tender announcement released on the website of the Ministry of Land and Resources on Monday.

A successful bidder can get three-year exploration rights to one block for shale gas resources, according to the announcement.

The blocks in the tender cover seven provinces and one municipality, mostly in Guizhou, Chongqing, Hunan and Hubei.

"Whether there will be a third or fourth auction depends on the reaction from the market and explorers," said Che Changbo, deputy director of the oil and gas strategic resources research center of the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Unlike the country's first auction, which allowed only Chinese-owned enterprises, this auction will allow foreign-funded joint ventures controlled by Chinese investors.

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