BEIJING, July 17 The Chinese government has
verified shale gas reserves in Sinopec Corp's Fuling
field in the southwest of the country, signalling the official
launch of the commercial development of China's first large
shale gas field.
The Ministry of Land and Resources verified proven reserves
of nearly 107 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the Fuling shale gas
field in Chongqing municipality, the company said on Thursday.
As of June 30, daily output in 29 test wells in Fuling
totalled 3.2 million cubic metres. Accumulated shale gas output
from those wells reached 611 million cubic metres, Sinopec said.
"Fuling proves to be a high quality marine shale gas
reserve," said the statement, adding that the gas contains as
much as 98 percent methane, with low levels of carbon dioxide
and no hydrogen sulphide.
Sinopec said in March it was targeting annual shale gas
production capacity of 5 bcm from Fuling by 2015 and 10 bcm by
2017, making an earlier government target for total shale gas
output of 6.5 bcm for 2015 look more viable.
China has struggled in its bid to revolutionize its energy
supplies by emulating the frenetic exploration and production of
the U.S. shale boom, stymied by the high cost and complexity of
drilling to tap shale gas. Estimates indicate China may have the
world's largest shale gas reserves.
Industry experts have cautioned against expecting Chinese
companies to be able to quickly duplicate the Fuling success
elsewhere in the country, as the geological conditions of the
field are considered among the most favourable.
Sinopec said it applied new drilling technologies in the
Fuling shale field, and manufactured all the production
equipment and tools domestically.
(Reporting by Judy Hua and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Tom Hogue)