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Chinese shale gas could ease energy shortfall – report

15th May 2012

Vast shale gas and coal-bed methane reserves could ease China's energy shortfall, says new report.

China’s gas shortfall is expected to grow nine-fold by 2015

Vast unconventional domestic gas reserves, including shale gas and coal-bed methane, could ease China’s energy shortfall, according to a new report by professional services company, PwC.

The latest analysis by The China Greentech Initiative (CGTI), The China Greentech Report 2012,  found  while the greentech sector faces macroeconomic challenges, China’s overwhelming need for energy and environmental technology will continue to propel rapid growth in greentech markets.

China has maintained its position as the world’s greentech leader despite continuing global economic volatility and slowing domestic growth, it states.

The report cites China’s “urgent” needs in energy and environment driving developments. The country now imports over half of its oil, in addition to its over-reliance on coal, producing high emissions of carbon and other air and water pollutants.

China’s domestic conventional gas production is described as “stretched to the limit”, but vast unconventional domestic gas reserves, including shale gas and coal-bed methane, could ease China’s gas shortfall, which is expected to grow nine-fold by 2015. The industry would however need to overcome major pricing, regulatory, distribution and water challenges.

Allan Zhang, director, PwC Sustainability and Climate Change said: “The basic fact is that to ensure energy security and supply, China has no choice but to develop and use new forms of energy to meet the growing and seemingly insatiable demand. Technological advances over the years have made wider use of unconventional gases possible, and opened up new sources of energy supply, although many technical hurdles still exist.

“Companies with experience of advanced technologies, or management skills in exploring Coalbed Methane projects on a large commercial scale will be in a great position in the market. The lack of experience and know-how of the Chinese companies in dealing with unconventional energy such as shale gas offer the European and American companies the chance of riding on China's rapid development.”

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