WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United States and China should cooperate more on shale gas exploitation as the two countries share "some key reasons" to collaborate in this area, an energy expert said Thursday.
Sarah Forbes, a senior associate of World Resources Institute, said the two countries share lots in common though they are at different stages in shale gas development when addressing a seminar held by the Brookings Institution.
"We were both continental sized countries, we both have geographic disperse energy resources with demand centers that are often far from energy supplies. Both countries currently rely heavily on fossil fuels to power our economies," Forbes said.
"Both countries fundamentally are seeking their own energy independence by diversifying the energy mix, ramping up domestic energy production and unconventional fuels offer unique opportunities to do that," she said.
Forbes also expressed her wish for stronger connections between the United States and China in this industry, noting that the two countries have already established cooperation at both company level and government level.
Shale gas is natural gas trapped within shale formations and has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States in the past decade.
In 2000, shale gas provided around 1 percent of U.S. natural gas and by 2010, it was over 20 percent.
The shale energy bonanza has helped reduce U.S. imports of natural gas and crude oil by 32 percent and 15 percent respectively in the past five years.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that 46 percent of natural gas in the United States will come from shale gas by 2035.