Platts: China cuts 2020 shale gas output target as challenges persist

China has slashed its official target for shale gas production in the medium term by up to a third and now expects to achieve 30 billion cubic meters of output by 2020, according to the country’s Ministry of Land and Resources at a briefing in Beijing Wednesday, September 17.

Production this year will likely total 1.5 Bcm and is expected to exceed the government’s 2015 target of 6.5 Bcm next year, said Peng Qiming, director of geological exploration at the ministry, according to its website.

Based on the current pace of development, overall shale gas output will rise to 15 Bcm/year by 2017, before hitting 30 Bcm/year by 2020.

“If measures are appropriate, there is hope that production can reach 40-60 Bcm, accounting for roughly a fifth of total gas output,” Peng said.

The ministry’s briefing comes after earlier concerns that while China will achieve the 2015 target, it faces extreme challenges reaching the longer-term target of 60-100 Bcm by the end of the next five-year economic plan in 2020.

Both output targets were set in 2012, when the National Energy Administration said the priority to 2015 would be on exploring and developing reserves, with a view to realizing large-scale commercial production by the end of the decade.

Source: Platts, 2014

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