The Guardian | China has begun trials of a controversial drilling technique to exploit the world's largest reserves of shale gas, as it attempts to cope with the increasing energy demands of a fast-growing economy while reducing its dependence on coal.
In the past two weeks, engineers have completed the country's first horizontal shale gas well in Sichuan and government officials have begun drafting a national strategy to identify a trillion cubic metres of exploitable resources by 2020.
Supporters say China has the potential to emulate the United States, where extraction of shale gas has tripled the lifespan of US gas reserves and offered a lower-carbon alternative to coal.
"Shale gas is a game-changer for the US and should do the same for China," said Ming Sung, Asia representative of the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force and an advocate of closer energy links between the two nations. "This should be one of the centre-pieces for China's energy strategy. As with any new technology development, we must balance benefits versus potential environmental impacts. The experiences of the US are valuable here."
- Written by: John Galt
- Category: Energy
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