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South China Sea gas output to reach 15 bcm by 2015 – NEA

03rd December 2012

Gas output from the South China Sea will reach 15 billion cubic metres by 2015, the National Energy Administration says

South China Sea gas output to reach 15 bcm by 2015 – NEA
The administration expects offshore gas output to reach 20 bcm by 2015, with 15 bcm from the South China Sea alone

China aims to produce 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per year from the South China Sea by 2015, the country’s energy administration said on Monday.

The National Energy Administration said in its 2011-2015 five-year plan that the South China Sea would be of strategic importance to the country's offshore gas exploration plans.

The administration expects offshore gas output to reach 20 bcm by 2015, with 15 bcm from the South China Sea alone, a region which has attracted considerable interest from foreign countries such as the US. Total national production is expected to reach 176 bcm by 2015, including 138.5 bcm of conventional natural gas. Output last year reached 102 bcm.

"This will bring new challenges to the country's energy security, and it must do its utmost to boost effective domestic supplies while at the same time optimising the natural gas consumption mix," the energy administration said.

China would depend on foreign supplies for roughly 35 per cent of its needs, as gas demand is expected to reach 230 bcm by the end of 2015, 63 bcm more than the proposed domestic output.

The office also said the 2011-2015 period would be used to "lay the foundations" for the large-scale development of the shale gas sector over the following five-year period. A fifth of the world’s minable shale gas is thought to lie within China.