'Steady growth' seen for natural gas, oil output
Updated: 2014-01-09 07:09
By Wang Qian (China Daily)
China, the world's largest energy user, can maintain steady growth in annual oil and natural gas output beyond 2030, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Wednesday.
Crude oil and natural gas production in 2030 will be more than double the figure for 2013, which was about 330 million metric tons of oil equivalent, the ministry said.
One TOE is equivalent to the approximate amount of energy that can be extracted per metric ton of crude oil.
Last year's output was 210 million tons of oil and 121 billion cubic meters of natural gas, according to the ministry's statistics.
"Thanks to technological innovations in unconventional energy, such as shale gas, and increasing investment in locating oil and gas resources, the country's energy reserves soared dramatically, easing concerns of a shortage," Peng Qiming, director of the ministry's geological exploration department, said on Wednesday.
Peng said China's western regions - including the Tarim Basin in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the northwest and the Sichuan Basin in the southwest - have "huge potential" as sources of oil and natural gas.
Those areas will become major contributors to the country's energy output, producing 60 percent of the total in 2030 compared with 45 percent in 2012.
The ministry said that unconventional energy sources, such as shale gas, may account for 33 percent of the country's total oil and natural gas production by 2030.
Last year, domestic shale gas output reached 200 million cu m, the ministry said.
"The increasing provable oil and natural gas reserves will play an important role in changing the country's energy structure and fighting air pollution," Peng said.
By 2030, China is expected to identify 22 billion tons of geological oil reserves and 12 trillion cu m of geological natural gas reserves, according to the ministry.
Although provable oil and natural gas reserves are expected to increase beyond 2030, Peng said that the quality of discoveries may wane.
He said that accelerating energy price reforms is "urgent" in terms of boosting oil and natural gas supply and improving energy efficiency.
Che Changbo, deputy director of the ministry's geological exploration department, said a market-driven pricing mechanism will be promoted.
China imported nearly 57 percent of the oil it refined from January to November last year, similar to 2012, according to the ministry.
(China Daily USA 01/09/2014 page13)