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A subsidiary of PetroChina has boasted natural gas production of 30 billion cubic meters so far this year, expecting it to hit 31.6 billion cubic meters by the end of 2020 as Beijing encourages the development of local natural gas reserves.
Xinhua reports Southwest Oil and Gasfield Company’s total gas production this year will represent a sixth of China’s total natural gas output. By 2025, the company plans to boost this to 50 billion cubic meters per year.
Southwest Oil and Gasfield Company is active in the Sichuan Basin, which is home to China’s most abundant natural gas resources, including shale gas. Last year, PetroChina announced some 741 billion cubic meters in newly discovered shale gas resources in the basin.
China is one of the world’s largest natural gas importers, and as demand for the fuel soars, so do imports.
Back in 2010, imports accounted for just 15 percent of China’s natural gas supply. By 2018, the share of imports in the country’s gas supply surged to nearly half—45 percent—of the total supply. As consumption has been vastly outpacing domestic natural gas production, China has been looking for three years to raise its own production.
This has prompted Beijing to double down on its efforts to expand domestic production, including both conventional and unconventional reserves.
Earlier this year, media reported China would make it easier for foreign companies to get access to its shale gas industry as part of these production boost efforts. Participants in the industry would also enjoy subsidized costs to accelerate the development of these reserves.
Sinopec is another state major with big plans for its gas production. This year, the company said it expected to produce 30 billion cubic meters of gas, a modest 1.1-percent rise on the year. Yet Sinopec plans to boost the share of gas in its production portfolio significantly, to top 50 percent by 2023, with production capacity hitting 40 billion cubic meters annually.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.