China's Sinopec plans shale gas research base: media

A Sinopec sign displayed at its gas station is seen behind a Chinese New Year lantern installation in Hong Kong in this February 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Sinopec Corp has started building a base for research into shale gas near its largest commercial discovery of the fuel, an industry website reported on Wednesday.

The company, looking to cement its position as China’s leading shale gas developer, plans to spend 339 million yuan ($49 million) building the facility near its Fuling shale project near Chongqing, according to a report by

Sinopec spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

The center will also be used to oversee the expansion of the Fuling field’s production capacity, the report said.

The Fuling project is China’s largest commercial shale gas discovery now under production, with annual output estimated at about 5 billion cubic meters last year.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu