China ‘set for shale gas revolution’
September 20, 2018 | Singapore | OSEA2018 Industry Insights
Expected hike in gas demand is driving country to develop own resources, but LNG and pipeline imports to continue
The growth of China’s domestic shale gas market is the next big revolution in the industry, with demand in the country set to surge, according to an official at state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
Natural gas consumption in China is set to overtake both oil and coal, Zou Caineng, vice president of the research institute of petroleum exploration & development at offshoot PetroChina, said at the Gastech conference in Barcelona on Monday.
Speaking through a translator, Zou said the North American shale gas market had transformed the oil market, helping to drive down the price in 2014, leading to the prolonged downturn.
He contended that the market is set for a second revolution, as China is already the second biggest producer of shale gas behind the US, and the country is ploughing investment into exploration and development of unconventional resources.
Shale gas production in China last year was 9 billion cubic metres, Zou said. However, it is expected to climb to between 80 Bcm and 100 Bcm by 2030, so “the potential is huge”.
Natural gas accounted for 55% of all energy imports to China last year, and Chinese gas demand will hit 520 Bcm by 2030, Zou said.
“China is looking for the possible opportunities to import natural gas from other countries in the world,” he said in response to a question on possible problems on liquefied natural gas imports from the US in the face of an ongoing tariff war.
“By 2030, coal, natural gas and renewables will occupy 35% (of Chinese consumption). So in the future think renewables will occupy very important space in China,” Zou said.
Speaking on the same panel at Gastech, Shell’s director of integrated gas & new energies, Maarten Wetselaar, said the abundance of gas resources in China and the region – particularly Russia and Central Asia – will give the Chinese government the confidence to invest in replacing coal in the domestic energy mix with gas in the long term.