China’s demand for natural gas will more than triple over the next 25 years, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Natural gas demand in China is projected to hit 17.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2040, a greater than three-fold increase from the 5.2 tcf of demand in 2012. There is a big question mark over how the country will meet that need, but the EIA says the vast majority of it will come from two sources: domestic production and liquefied natural gas imports.
China is potentially sitting on 1,115 tcf of technically recoverable shale gas—the world’s largest reserves. While energy rich, China has had trouble developing its mammoth shale resources. The lack of fresh water is an enormous challenge. But so is a lack of infrastructure, dearth of pipelines, complex geology, and high costs. The problems have tempered China’s ambition, and the government recently downgraded its 2020 production target by half.
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