China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, announced on Friday its Fuling shale gas field has produced more than 40 billion cubic meters, or bcm, of shale gas since it was put into commercial operation in 2014, a record for shale gas cumulative production in the country.
The project has helped maintain the company's clean energy supply capacity while contributing to the country's energy security, against the backdrop of China striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and peak carbon emissions by 2030, the company said.
Located in Chongqing, the Fuling shale gas field has stepped up production this year. It has also made China the first country to achieve shale gas commercial operation outside North America. With a daily gas production reaching 20 million cubic meters, the gas field could meet the gas demand of 40 million households, said the company.
An analyst said shale gas has the potential to become a major part of China's domestic gas supply while the project will also contribute to China's carbon neutrality goal, helping the country achieve its target in terms of decarbonizing the industry and power sectors by switching from coal to gas in the coming years.
"Shale gas has played an increasingly important role to ramp up gas production in the country," said Li Ziyue, an analyst with BloombergNEF.
"Fuling, the first large-scale commercial shale gas field, has ensured gas supply to consumers along the Yangtze River and also pushed forward clean energy transition."
China's decarbonization drive has been prompting the strategic repositioning of domestic companies, including the country's oil giants Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
According to Li, the skyrocketing prices of imported gas may push China to further ramp up domestic gas output.
Global gas prices have climbed to their highest level in seven years, as a shortage of gas this winter is anticipated. Rebound of consumption more quickly than production resumption after the COVID-19 pandemic slump last year also contributed to the record natural gas price.
"While international natural gas prices have been on wide rides, increasing domestic shale gas output can help China to ensure gas supply security," she said.
China's natural gas demand in 2020 reached 324 bcm, of which 189 bcm, or 58 percent, was from domestic supply.
(Source: China Daily)