• China to miss government targets by only almost doubling shale gas production by 2020

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The Financial Times has covered a report from Wood Mackenzie which has estimated that China will almost double its production of shale gas by 2020. In 2017, the country produced around 9 billion cubic metres of gas, and by 2020 it is expected to be producing 17 bcm, and though that will short of the target set early last year of 30 bcm by 2020, it still represents enormous growth in a very short period of time. Seeking to reduce carbon emissions and also to strengthen energy security, the Chinese government has placed an emphasis on domestic shale gas production. China is thought to have the world’s largest reserves of the resource, and production costs are falling, although the more complex geology in the country makes extraction more difficult than in areas such as Texas, which has somewhat hampered expansion. There are also limitations arising from gas transport infrastructure, as well as the sheer scale of attempting such an ambitious expansion in production – 700 new wells are expected to be sunk over the next two years to reach that 17 bcm figure, while 1425 would be required to meet 30 bcm.