ConocoPhillips to enter China's shale gas industry

China had no commercial shale gas production in 2011, but harbours the ambitious target to produce 229.5 billion cubic feet a year of shale gas by 2015. ConocoPhillips, which currently holds stakes in Chinese offshore drilling projects, is "looking into expanding into shale" in the country, Mark Nelson, ConocoPhillips's vice president of commercial and sustainable development, said, as per Wall Street Journal. China is expected to put 17 domestic shale-gas blocks up for auction in the coming weeks, hoping to entice U.S. energy firms to form partnerships with domestic companies and kickstart the sort of shale-gas revolution that the U.S. has undergone in the past decade. However, even if ConocoPhillips and other U.S. firms decide to partner with Cnooc Ltd. and other Chinese national oil companies to develop the country's estimated 1.28 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas, China still may not hit its 2015 production target, which some executives at U.S. energy producers working in China have called too ambitious for the country's current capability.
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