PetroChina Drills China's 1st HZ Shale Gas Well

SHANGHAI (Dow Jones Newswires), March 31, 2011

PetroChina completed the drilling of China's first horizontal shale gas well last week in Sichuan province, parent China National Petroleum Corp. said Thursday in its in-house newsletter.

Horizontal shale gas wells are more productive and have proven to be more commercially viable, having made a marked contribution to the success of shale gas development in the U.S., industry officials said.

China is at an early stage in its cracking of shale gas, trapped in relatively impermeable rock, but it hopes to unlock its massive shale gas reserves to meet robust domestic demand for the cleaner-burning fuel.

The International Energy Agency estimates that China has reserves of 26 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, which it hasn't been able to access due to a lack of technical expertise.

China's Ministry of Land and Resources has identified 20 potentially shale-gas-rich blocks in the provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou and the city of Chonqing, the state-controlled China Energy News reported earlier this week.

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