(BN) China May Double Unconventional Gas Output in 5 Years


China May Double Unconventional Gas Output in 5 Years (Update2)
2010-11-19 07:58:04.681 GMT

(Updates with comments from analyst in fourth paragraph.)

By Bloomberg News
Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world's biggest energy
consumer, may double its production of unconventional gas in
five years to meet rising demand for cleaner-burning fuels.
Output of coal-bed methane and tight gas held between rocks
may exceed 30 billion cubic meters in 2015, compared with an
estimated 15 billion cubic meters this year, China National
Petroleum Corp. said in a statement on its website today.
China is seeking to triple the use of natural gas to about
10 percent of energy consumption by 2020 to help cut reliance on
more polluting oil and coal. The country may hold as much as 380
trillion cubic meters of unconventional gas, about 10 times the
potential reserves of conventional gas, CNPC said.
"To prevent gas shortages, China needs to tap
unconventional sources to improve overall supply in the coming
10 years," said Dave Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Daiwa
Securities Capital Markets Co. "Demand for gas from residential
and industrial users is insatiable."
CNPC may spend more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) on
developing coal-bed methane, the nation's largest oil and gas
supplier said, without giving a timeframe. The company's
production of the fuel may reach 4.5 billion cubic meters by
2015, according to the statement.
Unconventional gas, including gas found in shale formations,
may account for more than a quarter of China's gas supplies by
2030, said CNPC, the parent of Hong Kong-listed PetroChina Co.
China will offer shale-gas blocks to the nation's biggest
energy companies as the world's largest polluter aims to
increase the use of cleaner-burning fuels to help reduce carbon
dioxide emissions, Zhang Dawei, deputy director of oil and gas
strategy research at the Ministry of Land and Resources, said
last month.
The country aims to have 1 trillion cubic meters of proven
shale-gas reserves by 2020, he said. China will gradually open
shale-gas exploration to foreign and private companies,
according to Zhang, without giving a timeframe.

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--Wang Ying. Editors: Ryan Woo.

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