China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the largest state-owned producer of oil and natural gas in the country, reportedly plans to nearly double natural gas production from shale sources this year and wants a five-fold increase in such production by 2020.
CNPC said it plans to produce 5.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) (197.8 Bcf) of natural gas from unconventional sources in southwestern Sichuan province in 2018, according to a report Tuesday by Caixin Media Co. Ltd., a Beijing-based news service. The company reportedly plans to drill more than 330 new wells targeting the Sichuan Basin in 2018, and wants to have more than 820 shale gas wells in operation by 2020, with total annual production of 15 bcm (529.7 Bcf).
According to CNPC’s latest annual report, the company produced 3.15 Tcf of natural gas from domestic sources in 2017, up 4.8% from 2016 (3.0 Tcf), and mostly from conventional drilling. Caixin reported that CNPC’s natural gas production from shale was about 3 bcm (105.9 Bcf) in 2017.
Other domestic unconventional formations mentioned in the CNPC report include the Bohai Bay, Erdos, Songliao and Tarim basins.
Last April, analysts with Wood Mackenzie estimated that China’s unconventional natural gas production would reach 17 bcm (600.3 Bcf) by 2020.