China report shows expanding gas supply to 2015

China’s natural gas supply will top 240 billion cubic meters (nearly 8.5 trillion cubic feet) per year, according to the country’s most recent five-year plan. This will enable the world’s most populous country to achieve a balance in supply in demand by that year, said a government researcher quoted in China Petroleum Daily.

According to the report, more favorable policies will be provided to spur exploration and development of unconventional gas during the five-year plan ending in 2015, Jiang Xinmin, a researcher at the Energy Research Institute, told delegates at an industry conference.

Chinese gas production comes from a variety of sources and includes coalbed methane, tight gas, and shale gas. Gas from these unconventional sources will reach 10 bcm (353 bcf) by 2015, said Jiang, who added that this was a “conservative” estimate and added that production could reach 20 bcm (706 bcf) or even 30 bcm (over 1 tcf).

China recently approved four coal-to-gas projects in northern China’s Xinjiang autonomous region and Inner Mongolia. Output from those projects alone is forecast to exceed 10 bcm/year (353 bcf/year) by 2015, said Jiang.

Power generation would account for 20% of gas use by 2015, industrial and city gas would each account for about 33%, and chemical sector use would drop to less than 20%.

To boost gas development, China would further liberalize the sector to encourage involvement of private and foreign entities, he said.

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