China catching up on shale technology

Drilling rig in China
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Speaking at the Shale Gas and Ecological Environment Forum held on Sunday, Li Jinfa, an official with the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), said that China has basically mastered the shale gas geophysical, drilling and fracturing technologies. It has also managed to reduce horizontal drilling cycle from 150 days to 70 days, as well as significantly lower the costs of a single well from 100 million yuan to 50 million yuan.

Li Jinfa also pointed out that in recent years, the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, the National Energy Bureau has issued a number of policies to encourage and support the inclusion of shale gas development, and to increase shale gas production in 2020 to more than 30 billion cubic meters.

Apart from technological advancement and increased production China is also striving for a greener economy. In terms of shale gas exploration this manifests itself in four key areas: waste management and noise control, establishing strict processes for the effective protection of the environment, economical use of land, and land reclamation and regeneration.

According to statistics from China Geological Survey, China added 106.75 billion cubic meters of proven shale gas reserve in 2014, and total shale gas output hit 1.3 billion cubic meters in the year.

China has set ambitious targets for shale gas production. Beijing aims to increase shale gas output to 30 billion cubic meters by 2020, according to Li.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) in cooperation with the Advanced Resources International (ARI) recently published a report which names China as one of the two countries outside North America – along with Argentina – with commercial production volumes of shale gas and tight oil.

According to China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, the two state-owned giants; Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) PetroChina, are on schedule to reach 600 MMcf/d of shale gas production by the end of 2015.

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