BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- China's top refiner Sinopec Corp. will increase annual production capacity of its Fuling shale gas project to 10 billion cubic meters in 2017, allowing for large-scale commercialization of the new energy.
Production capacity of the gas field in Fuling District of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality will increase to 1.8 billion cubic meters by the end of this year, and to 5 billion cubic meters next year, the firm said on Monday.
In 2017, it is expected to become China's first shale gas field with an annual production capacity of 10 billion cubic meters, said the firm. This is equivalent to an oil field with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.
Shale gas is a natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. As a clean and efficient energy source, it has become increasingly important throughout the world.
Fu Chengyu, Sinopec chairman, said the company has achieved breakthroughs in technology and the manufacturing of fracturing equipment during the construction of the Fuling project.
The Fuling field, discovered in 2012, has reserves of 2.1 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, according to Sinopec.