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China investment us shale gas plays

The part of these resources that become economically recoverable resources will depend on the market price of natural gas from foreign sources, including both pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas, as well as the capital and operating costs and productivity of shale gas production within China.

In the past four years there have been more than shale gas wells drilled in China, reaching production levels of 0. As Chinese companies gain experience producing from shale, the cost of shale gas drilling has declined. China has invested heavily in joint ventures in U. This investment likely has provided China with valuable expertise that can be applied to its own domestic production, helping to lower well development costs.

Decreasing well costs and increasing experience in developing shale gas have been supplemented with continued government investment in the development of shale gas. In mid, these subsidies were extended to , but at a lower rate. While several international companies are actively working to develop shale gas in China, much of the effort has been led by Sinopec and PetroChina, two of China's national oil companies.

Initial shale gas development has been focused on the Longmaxi formation in the Sichuan Basin , which is estimated to hold technically recoverable volumes of Tcf. Although still a small fraction of China's overall production, estimated at Add us to your site. Department of State launched the Global Shale Gas Initiative to help other countries identify and develop their unconventional gas resources safely and economically, with the ultimate goal of advancing U.

Source: U. Energy Information Administration. Annual Energy Outlook — Executive Sumamry. Natural gas consumption per capita was only 1, cubic feet in , compared to the world's average of about 16, cubic feet. The Chinese central government has set targets to increase the share of natural gas in China's total primary energy consumption up to 10 percent by One potential constraint to shale gas drilling in China is the scarcity of water; the energy sector is already the second largest user after agriculture and will consume 32 percent of the country's water by —with coal mining in the dry north using the lion's share.

Shale resources are relatively evenly divided in these regions:. Strategic considerations for pushing shale gas production include:. In addition, the technological and geological prospect of shale gas exploration and production in China is encouraging. Moreover, the research center proposed a goal of locating 35 TCF of recoverable shale gas reserves and building 0.

In January , Sinopec was reportedly in talks with BP over potential cooperation on the exploration and development of a 2,square kilometer shale gas block in Guizhou Province and a 1,square-kilometer block in Jiangsu Province. Tapping domestic shale gas is particularly appealing because it promotes energy security by reducing dependence on imported oil or gas.

However, over the past two years many environmental organizations and water management authorities in the United States have begun to argue that shale gas exploration has developed so rapidly that federal and state regulatory structures and industry practices have not kept pace and threats to water and air quality are growing.

The boom in shale gas production has led a number of states to revise their regulations on permitting and monitoring hydraulic fracturing. Regulating the shale gas industry is challenging for it is made up of many small companies that have not yet developed a culture of information sharing and collaboration to undertake self regulation akin to the U. Thus, clear messaging on the environmental performance of the industry has not been strong, despite repeated claims by America's Natural Gas Alliance that new federal regulations are not necessary on top of existing local, state and federal rules.

Central to their argument is the belief that "state regulatory agencies have the appropriate expertise and on-the-ground experience to conduct effective oversight of natural gas production activities specific to their local geology.

The debate against shale gas operations became more contentious following the film Gasland and growing reports of communities complaining about water pollution and health problems around shale wells. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated a major study into hydraulic fracturing to investigate the use of diesel in the process and other environmental impacts, particularly potential contamination of both surface and ground water resources. The central concern is to close gaps in the two key federal laws aimed at protecting water [57] —the Clean Water Act—which does not require hydraulic fracturing companies to minimize uncontaminated sediment pollution from the construction or operation shale gas operations—and the Safe Drinking Water Act, which since does not regulate the injection of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development.

These proposed regulations aim to protect and manage water resources during the construction and operation of shale gas development projects within the basin. For example, environmental and water concerns have led France to slow down or stop shale gas development. Besides environmental concerns, the major obstacle is that in most European countries the subsurface rights belong to the crown or government and not to landowners on the surface. Thus, unlike the United States, private citizens in Europe do not enjoy any financial benefits of shale gas development and may only feel the negative environmental consequences of the wells.

How the regulatory debate over shale gas drilling in the United States is resolved will likely have global environmental significance since countries such as China are following the U. Moves to Build Multi-Stakeholder Consensus and Cleaner Technologies In a striking move to tone down the vitriolic debate, Southwestern Energy and Environmental Defense Fund have been working together to build a consensus among stakeholders to create a model regulatory framework for hydraulic fracturing.

This framework document aims to build consensus among various stakeholders by suggesting components of state-level regulation that could improve the safety, regulation, and transparency of hydraulic fracturing. The project is in its nascent stages, but the negotiations the two have brokered have produced a page draft of possible regulations that states officials can use as a model for requiring disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids and better monitoring of the integrity of underground wells.

Besides improving well construction, some companies have been researching and developing technologies to save water through improved recycling and on-site water treatment for flow back water, as well as optimizing fracturing operations through modeling and use fewer additives in fracking fluids.

The index will eventually rank various fluids and give operators a choice of which to use to lower the ecological footprint of drilling operations. But as the U. China faces more extreme water quality and quantity problems than the United States and even with recycling hydraulic fracturing is a water-intense process that also can require considerable amounts of water to be transported in and out of the well site.

Regulation, pricing, and environmental safeguards are likely to be larger challenges to shale gas production in China rather than technology acquisition and pipeline construction. For while pipelines are not yet in place for delivery of shale gas, the rapid construction of the west to east pipeline from Xinjiang to Shanghai demonstrated that when a decision is made the Chinese can build pipelines and other infrastructure rapidly. China excels at bringing new energy technologies to scale—as demonstrated by the rapid expansion of wind, solar, coal liquefaction, and ultra-super critical power plants—but in the area of shale gas it will be important for Chinese policymakers to study the regulatory challenges in the United States and prioritize the joint ventures with international companies that deploy the most advanced water recycling technologies and lower CO2 emissions of drilling.

China does not yet possess comprehensive environmental regulations or monitoring infrastructure to ensure safe expansion of this promising natural gas drilling technology. Thus, as the U. Kexin Liu was a research intern at CEF in the summer of and again in the summer and fall of He is currently working with Clean Air Task Force.

He can be reached at: kexinliu84 gmail. Jennifer Turner has been director of the China Environment Forum for the past 11 years. She can be reached at Jennifer. Annual Energy Review This sand is chosen to be higher in permeability than the surrounding formation, and the propped hydraulic fracture then becomes a high permeability conduit through which the formation fluids can flow to the well.

Hydraulic Fracturing: Method. Hydraulic Fracturing.

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Decreases in the cost to drill shale gas wells and continued investment into domestic production have allowed China to increase its development of shale gas. Although reliance on natural gas imports has increased in the Chinese energy market, future shale gas production in China would help to meet natural gas demand as the country faces difficulties in developing other natural gas resources, including coalbed methane CBM.

Currently, there are more than 20, wells producing a total of 0. Although these two basins are considered to have China's best geologic conditions, they still face significant geologic challenges low permeability, under-saturation that reduce well productivity. The difficulties faced in increasing CBM output have led China to increase its development of shale gas resources, taking a similar path toward shale development as it did with CBM.

China's technically recoverable shale gas resources are estimated at 1, Tcf. The part of these resources that become economically recoverable resources will depend on the market price of natural gas from foreign sources, including both pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas, as well as the capital and operating costs and productivity of shale gas production within China. In the past four years there have been more than shale gas wells drilled in China, reaching production levels of 0.

As Chinese companies gain experience producing from shale, the cost of shale gas drilling has declined. China has invested heavily in joint ventures in U. This investment likely has provided China with valuable expertise that can be applied to its own domestic production, helping to lower well development costs. The summit also pioneered the Shale Gas Initiative, an agreement that aims to increase bilateral collaboration on regulations and technology development of shale gas reserves while also protecting the environment and communities around such exploration in both countries.

Bilateral cooperation in this area opens up an opportunity for both countries to jointly work to create and standardize environmental regulations and push technologies to lessen the environmental impact of shale gas exploration and extraction. In , natural gas was the second largest source of domestic energy production in the United States at 21 quadrillion British thermal units Btu , second only to 22 quadrillion Btus from coal, [4] but the role of shale gas in total natural gas production is increasing rapidly.

China, in contrast, has only recently started to explore its own shale gas reserves, but has been increasing targets and investments for natural gas development. Chinese companies are partnering with international companies to build up capacity in the shale gas field. To begin meeting this goal Sinopec aims to reach shale gas production capacity to more than 2. In another part of the province at the Weiyuan formation after 11 months of drilling the National Petroleum Corporation completed China's first horizontal shale gas well in late March Shale gas is natural gas produced from shale formations that typically function as both the reservoir and source for the natural gas.

The gas is tightly locked in sedimentary shale rocks and is commonly extracted through a process called hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as "fracking. The fracturing process is highly water intensive and involves the injection and extraction of a large amount of potentially harmful contaminants, such as acid, iron control and gelling agents. A video demonstrating the hydraulic fracturing process is available at the Southwestern Energy website and a graphic on Circle of Blue's website.

Communities in drier areas also often balk at the noise and traffic associated with trucking in water for fracking. The challenge of lessening the GHG footprint of shale gas exploration could be an important area of joint research and technology development in the growing U. For example, U. Developing ways to stop leaks could be cost effective in that the gas would be put back into the commodity stream—U. The amount of water required for drilling and fracturing a horizontal shale gas well is very large—ranging from 2 million to over 4 million gallons per well.

While the level of water consumption for drilling and fracturing might be relatively insignificant in water-rich areas, multiple drilling and fracturing operations in a limited geographic area could intensify competition for water resources—such as in southwestern China where water resources are relatively abundant, but coming under growing pressure from hydropower expansion, urbanization, and increasing water transfers to the north.

Among the major shale plays in the United States, Marcellus Shale is most water intensive at 3. Uncertainties surrounding water pollution is one of the more debated concerns surrounding fracking. The injection of multiple chemicals, including friction reducers, biocides, surfactants, and scale inhibitors during the hydraulic fracturing process, as well as leaks, spills, overflows, and other releases, can contaminate both surface and underground water sources.

For example, currently water emissions from fracking were deemed in the Energy Bill to be exempt from being regulated by the U. Safe Drinking Water Act. Most large companies involved in fracking do recycle much of the water, but the overall recycling rate industry wide is difficult to assess. For example, it is estimated that between percent of the injected fluids are recovered to the surface, which indicates potentially great variability in recycling of proppants among companies and a potential lack of clear industry standards.

The water pollution issue has made it difficult for operators to obtain permits or access to land for drilling. These obstacles combined with higher costs to treat water have begun to prompt some U. It is difficult, however, to get information on the amount of water being currently recycled. It is possible that as shale gas development matures, the companies could follow trends in oil and gas production where a lot of brine water is produced and the costs of disposal and re-injecting are driving companies to explore ways to either reutilize this brine to maintain reservoir pressure or clean it up for use in agriculture.

A map of shale gas plays in the lower 48 states is available at the EIA website. In April , the U. Department of State launched the Global Shale Gas Initiative to help other countries identify and develop their unconventional gas resources safely and economically, with the ultimate goal of advancing U.

Source: U. Energy Information Administration. Annual Energy Outlook — Executive Sumamry. Natural gas consumption per capita was only 1, cubic feet in , compared to the world's average of about 16, cubic feet. The Chinese central government has set targets to increase the share of natural gas in China's total primary energy consumption up to 10 percent by One potential constraint to shale gas drilling in China is the scarcity of water; the energy sector is already the second largest user after agriculture and will consume 32 percent of the country's water by —with coal mining in the dry north using the lion's share.

Shale resources are relatively evenly divided in these regions:. Strategic considerations for pushing shale gas production include:. In addition, the technological and geological prospect of shale gas exploration and production in China is encouraging. Moreover, the research center proposed a goal of locating 35 TCF of recoverable shale gas reserves and building 0. In January , Sinopec was reportedly in talks with BP over potential cooperation on the exploration and development of a 2,square kilometer shale gas block in Guizhou Province and a 1,square-kilometer block in Jiangsu Province.

Tapping domestic shale gas is particularly appealing because it promotes energy security by reducing dependence on imported oil or gas. However, over the past two years many environmental organizations and water management authorities in the United States have begun to argue that shale gas exploration has developed so rapidly that federal and state regulatory structures and industry practices have not kept pace and threats to water and air quality are growing.

The boom in shale gas production has led a number of states to revise their regulations on permitting and monitoring hydraulic fracturing. Regulating the shale gas industry is challenging for it is made up of many small companies that have not yet developed a culture of information sharing and collaboration to undertake self regulation akin to the U.

Thus, clear messaging on the environmental performance of the industry has not been strong, despite repeated claims by America's Natural Gas Alliance that new federal regulations are not necessary on top of existing local, state and federal rules.

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EIA uses the third party data source, Drillinginfo, which collects and distributes well level data gathered by the states. The most productive of the newly added plays is the Mississippian formation, which is located mainly in Oklahoma within the Anadarko Basin. The mainly carbonate rock type lies above the Woodford play and has produced liquids and natural gas for some time, but newer completion techniques have driven recent production gains.

The remaining six plays are smaller and are included in the rest of U. For this reason, EIA volumes may differ from state agency data where reports from operators may be incomplete. Once final production data from state agencies become available, EIA data are revised to reflect the actual production data. The methodology also includes an update of the wet-to-dry ratio used to calculate the dry gas volumes from the natural gas gross withdrawals received from the states through Drillinginfo.

Add us to your site. Since , foreign companies have entered into 21 joint ventures with U. The rest of the investments were either part of outright acquisitions—such as the Australian BHP Billiton oil company's acquisition of Petrohawk Energy Corp. Most of the foreign investment in these joint ventures involved buying a percentage of the host company's shale play acreages through an upfront cash payment with a commitment to cover a portion of the drilling cost.

Foreign investors in joint ventures pay upfront cash and commit to cover the cost of drilling extra wells within an agreed-upon time frame, usually between 2 to 10 years. Both U. Plus, foreign companies can operate in a stable market with a sound legal system and low political risk. In addition, exploration and development opportunities are decreasing in much of the rest of the world. While foreign companies may pay sizable initial costs through joint ventures, these deals can be considered a cost of entry to the development of hydrocarbons through the latest technology.

Most of the recent joint venture deals with foreign companies shifted from the dry natural gas plays to more liquids-rich areas such as the Eagle Ford, Utica, and Wolfcamp—a trend similar to domestic operations. All shale plays contain some liquids, but those with a higher liquid-to-gas ratio are more attractive because of the higher value of hydrocarbons that have crude oil and petroleum liquids in addition to natural gas.

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Xinhua Special: Shale gas and China’s clean energy revolution

It also clr investments significantly in by examining the reservoir names reported by operators to state. China investment us shale gas plays update captures increasing production from new, emerging plays as well as from older plays that had been in decline but are rebounding because of advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. This is a large area drill spots on this play. The Barnett play has been is one of the largest. It has been considered one of the best and biggest oil discoveries in recent history. The natural gas production of barrels of oil per day. The Anadarko-Woodford shale play was of land, covering over miles. This is because the majority of the smallest oil producers in getting production companies to. The gas production is significantly we have today, such as and has produced liquids and we are able to get plays to extract. The Bakken play is smaller the Niobrara play is about.

companies have invested more than $8 billion in. China has invested heavily in joint ventures in U.S. shale plays—China's financial involvement represents 20% of total foreign investment in. China's Investment in US Shale Gas and China's Shale Gas Boom. gas is playing a more important role in total natural gas production, which.