A development plan through 2015 calls for the addition of 123 trillion cubic feet of proven conventional natural gas reserves, the official Xinhua news agency reports.
"By 2015, China aims to bring its natural gas supply capacity to around 6.2 trillion cubic meters, making the energy reachable to 250 million people, or 18 percent of the population," the report read.
For shale and other unconventional sources of natural gas, China aims to prove explorable reserves of around 7 trillion cubic feet by 2015, the report states.
Xinhua reports that the Energy Ministry said the lack of skills and effective policies and pricing mechanisms are inhibiting factors to natural gas goals.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, in its World Oil Outlook report, said shale reserve development outside the United States is in its infancy and issues such as regulation, environmental concerns and long-term energy prices may cloud prospects.
Natural gas in China comprises about 4.6 percent of current energy consumption. Xinhua states the average for natural gas consumption for industrialized countries is around 24 percent.
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