China’s Bid for Shale Gas Riches in Doubt

From The Wall Street Journal

By Duncan Mavin

China’s revolution in shale gas is more a distant dream than a work-in-progress. The latest round of bidding on shale-gas licenses shows there is much to be done.

China wants to shift its energy mix to natural gas from coal so that by 2020, 10% of total energy consumption is from gas. That compares with about 4% in 2010, according to Jefferies.

Production is picking up—official data showed Wednesday that natural-gas output jumped 6.7% in 2012 from a year earlier. But to meet its goals, China will have to bring unconventional shale-gas production online.

The government is targeting up to 3.5 trillion cubic feet of annual shale-gas production by the end of the decade from about nothing today. That is closing in on the level of production in the U.S.

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