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China to speed up shale gas exploration

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China will accelerate shale gas exploration according to a senior Chinese official on Monday, who called for the country to speed up mass production of shale gas with its own technologies to ensure adequate energy supply.

China's rich reserves of shale gas are estimated to amount to 31 trillion cubic metres, equivalent to the total amount of conventional natural gas.

Efforts must be made to achieve early breakthroughs in the appraisal, exploration and development of shale gas resources, as well as to come up with measures to ensure environmental safety, Liu Tienan, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a meeting.

China has an ambitious national output target of 6.5 billion cubic metres for 2015.

Liu stressed that the shale gas industry should be open to all types of investors. The departments involved should offer tax and fiscal incentives to encourage development.

Shale gas, a clean and high-efficiency energy resource, is produced from shale through a complicated process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

China's rich reserves of shale gas are estimated to amount to 31 trillion cubic meters, equivalent to the total amount of conventional natural gas.

The Sichuan Basin, the Ordos Basin, the Tarim Basin, the western Hubei-Eastern Chongqing area, and the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan boast huge stores of the substance, a survey by the Ministry of Land and Resources has showed. 

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