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Shale gas gets lift on govt promise, firms eye potential (2)

By Liang Fei  (Global Times)

08:27, January 10, 2013

Shale gas resources are mainly found in mountainous southwestern areas in China, but in the US the resources mainly concentrate in the plains.

"Lack of water is another factor that may hold back shale gas development in China, as exploration of the resource demands a high quantity of water," Lin noted.

The Ministry of Land and Resources announced the results of the second round of public tender for shale gas exploration rights on December 6, 2012. Two private companies have nudged into the rank of winners.

Although many companies are now eyeing the shale gas sector, they are all generally very cautious, as the sector demands a high input of capital and technology while investment return is slow, said Pu Deqin, a shale gas industry analyst at JYD Commodities Hub.

"It is not very likely that private companies will take a big share of shale gas development, as most of them do not have enough capital or technology, and gas pipes in China are still controlled by the two State-owned energy companies PetroChina and Sinopec," Pu said.

Experts noted that although exploration of coal bed methane also demands advanced technology, the resource is expected to gain increasing attention in the future, as its exploration is considered more environmentally friendly.

The 2013 national energy work conference was concluded Tuesday. At the meeting, the government also said use of renewable energy, such as solar power and wind power, will be encouraged in 2013.

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