BEIJING, March 9 (UPI) -- China's state-owned energy company Sinopec announced that natural gas was flowing from a series of shale deposits in Sichuan province.
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, announced that its wells in the Yuanba field were producing around 17,900 cubic feet of natural gas from shale deposits in central Sichuan, the Platts news service reports.
The energy company started tests in the field in 2010. It said the test results were encouraging and paved the way to further development.
Last week, the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources said there was an estimated 886 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits in onshore shale reserves.
The ministry said the reserves were suitable for development, though acknowledged China "lags behind advanced countries" when it comes to exploiting shale reserves.
Beijing aims to add more natural gas to its energy mix in an effort to control pollution. The country said it plans to start developing shale by 2015, though there are no commercial shale gas developments yet in China.