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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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China Becomes World’s Third-Largest Shale Gas Producer

China has become the world’s third-largest shale gas producer, after only the U.S. and Canada, Iran’s PressTV reports, adding that last year, China pumped almost 8 billion cubic meters of shale gas. The annual result was a 76.3-percent improvement on 2015, China’s Ministry of Land and Resources said – a record amount. Investments in shale gas exploration reached US$1.3 billion.

Shale gas production in China has continued to grow this year, as it seeks to move away from crude oil and bets increasingly on gas as the cleaner fuel amid government efforts to reduce pollution levels.

Earlier this month, the Ministry announced it will be opening two more production bases for shale gas in the south of China, and it will also schedule more oil and gas exploration tenders. The two bases will be in the Guizhou province and Hubei province. The tender for the US$193-million Guizhou development project took place on August 18 and the winner was a local company, Guizhou Industry Investment (Group) Co.

China has significant shale gas reserves, but they are located in geologically challenging areas, there is no developed production and transportation infrastructure, and exploration rights are limited, as Bloomberg wrote last year. As of the end of 2015, recoverable shale gas reserves stood at 130 billion cu m, compared with 5.19 trillion cubic meters of conventional gas.

One of the largest shale gas deposits in the country is the Fuling field, with proven reserves of 600.8 billion cubic meters. Related: Texas Oil Production Remains Strong…But For How Long?

This year, however, Beijing announced plans to increase the proven reserves of shale gas in the country to more than 1.5 trillion cubic meters by 2020. This would involve some major investment in recovery technology as well as infrastructure.

Production is also slated to expand to 30 billion cubic meters by 2020, according to the Ministry, and further to 80-100 billion cubic meters by 2030.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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