China could struggle with shale plans
China's plans to unlock what could be the worlds biggest shale gas reserves risk running further off track after 16 firms awarded exploration rights in the latest auction lacked one core skill - not one has drilled a gas well before, E&T Magazine reports.
Beijing is hoping shale gas can transform the country in the same way as the U.S. boom, though to date there has been little commercial production and a target of producing 6.5 billion cubic meters of gas by 2015 in the world's biggest energy consumer looks out of reach, according to industry experts.
The lack of experience exploiting shale among new firms scrambling to enter the sector will make it an even bigger challenge to get at the gas, and if they fail to deliver China will struggle to reduce its dependence on expensive imports of oil, liquefied natural gas and coal.
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