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Shale gas gets lift on govt promise, firms eye potential

By Liang Fei  (Global Times)

08:26, January 10, 2013

Shares of companies in the shale gas industry reported strong performance Wednesday after energy authorities said the government would boost the development of shale gas in 2013.

At the 2013 national energy work conference, China's energy authorities said that the use of unconventional gas resources, such as shale gas and coal bed methane, will be encouraged in 2013, according to a statement posted on the central government's website Tuesday.

Boosted by the news, shares of companies in the sector reported strong increases on the capital market. Shares of Shenzhen-listed Lanzhou Haimo Technologies Co, a shale gas explorer, surged to the daily limit of 10 percent in morning trading Wednesday and closed up 3.46 percent.

Meanwhile, experts noted that the shale gas sector is not likely to see massive development in the short term.

"The government has started to attach increasing importance to shale gas, but it is still hard to see any major development in the sector before 2015," Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times Wednesday.

Lin noted that Chinese shale gas firms mainly use technology from US companies; however, given geologic differences between the two countries, the technology is not yet suitable for shale gas exploration in China.

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