A seemingly never-ending string of conferences and news articles cover the questions of whether, when, and how China will develop its potentially vast unconventional gas resources. Will China meet its aggressive forecasts? Forecasting is always a bit of a dark art, and forecasting the future of a nascent industry is the darkest of dark arts.
Rather than add yet another forecast of China’s gas uptake or shale gas development over the next two decades, we focus on what makes China’s situation different and how the fundamental conditions and key policies are evolving. Given the right conditions and incentives, we argue that China can indeed ramp up its future gas production significantly, but it still has a long way to go before it can do that in an efficient way.
In this edition of our TLG on China, we examine the status and dynamics of shale gas exploration and development (E&P) in China, assess how close (or far) China is from reaching a meaningful tipping point for growth in shale gas production in an efficient manner, and discuss ways the various current impediments could be overcome.