China’s recoverable shale gas reserves fell by 6% in 2016

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2017/9/24 17:13:39

China's technologically recoverable shale gas reserves dropped by 6 percent in 2016, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Saturday, with no new volumes of the unconventional resource added last year.

Reserves stood at 122.41 billion cubic meters at the end of 2016, down from 130.18 billion cubic meters a year earlier, according to a report released by the ministry.

Shale gas was the only one of 22 major minerals listed to add zero newly discovered reserves in 2016, although potash was assigned a negative figure, indicating that some previous reserves were written off.

China has been trying to replicate the North American shale gas revolution and reduce a hefty reliance on energy imports.

China imported 33.98 million tons of crude oil in August, or 8 million barrels per day (bpd), up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, but this is a slide to the lowest monthly level since January, data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed. That compared with 8.18 million bpd in July.

Natural gas imports rose 69.5 percent year-on-year in August to 5.66 million tons, a level down from July's 5.75 million tons.

Almost all of the country's shale output comes from Sinopec's Fuling project near Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Sinopec said in March that it plans to boost Fuling's annual production capacity to 10 billion cubic meters from 7 billion cubic meters.

A gas field containing shale gas in Southwest China's Guizhou Province was reported to harbor an estimated 100 billion cubic meters of accessible gas when its discovery was announced in July last year, but no new volumes were included into the ministry's latest shale figures.

There was better news for coalbed methane, however, with remaining technologically recoverable reserves jumping by 9.2 percent to 334.4 billion cubic meters.

Conventional gas reserves were also up, by 4.7 percent at 5.44 trillion cubic meters, while oil reserves nudged up 0.1 percent to 3.501 billion tons, the ministry said.

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