BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- China is likely to beat its shale gas production target in 2015, after one of the country's major oil firms moved a step closer in tapping into the new energy.
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country's largest oil producer, has completed its preliminary development plan of its shale gas exploration project in northwestern province of Sichuan, according to a report in Shanghai Securities News.
China has the largest recoverable reserves of shale gas in the world, and is targeting 6.5 billion cubic meters of production in 2015, a goal previously deemed difficult to meet due to slow commercial development practices.
CNPC now has nine shale gas wells running at its Sichuan shale gasfields, with accumulated production of over 80 million cubic meters. Another 110-plus wells will be put into operation by the end of the second quarter of 2015.
Exploration efforts in the resource-rich Sichuan Province, which boasts about 27.5 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, make it possible for China to meet and even beat next year's production target, according to the report.
As the world's largest energy user, China looks to reduce its reliance on imported oil, coal and gas by tapping its rich shale reserves, but complicated pipeline access procedure and geology make its extraction difficult and expensive.