Shell boosted by shale gas find in China

City A.M. Reporter
ROYAL Dutch Shell has found shale gas in China, a development that could cap imports in a market natural gas producers are hoping will drive demand.

An official with Shell’s partner PetroChina, a unit of the country’s top energy group, state-owned CNPC, said drilling results from two wells Shell drilled had been positive.

Shell has two vertical wells and they got very good primary production,” Professor Yuzhang Liu, vice president of Petrochina’s Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED), said at the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.

“It’s good news for shale gas,” said Liu, who regularly represents PetroChina at industry events around the world.

China currently has no commercial shale gas production.

Some industry executives doubt the explosion of shale gas in the US that has revolutionised the market there could be replicated elsewhere due to difficult geology, the lack of water availability or land access issues.

Liu accepted the rock formations in China were “different” from those in the United States but denied this meant they were more challenging or less bountiful. In less than decade, shale gas has transformed the US from gas shortage to a point where companies are planning to export liquefied natural gas (LNG).