China gets top ranking for shale reserves

June 11, 2013 at 6:42 AM

WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- China has the most technically recoverable shale natural gas reserves and the third highest shale oil reserves in the world, the U.S. Energy Department said.

The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, published a report on global shale reserves. The report analyzed more than 130 shale formations in 41 countries, other than the United States.

The EIA said natural gas reserves in shale formations represent 32 percent of the world's total. Globally, about 10 percent of the oil reserves are in shale formations.

The EIA said it estimated China holds 32 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources, putting it behind Russia and the United States for the No. 3 spot in terms of reserves.

For natural gas, China holds the No. 1 spot in the world with an estimated 1.1 quadrillion cubic feet of shale natural gas reserves. The EIA report said Monday the Chinese estimate for shale natural gas was lower than indicated in a 2011 assessment because more information was available on the total area under exploration.

New technologies used to exploit oil and natural gas reserves are sparking renewed interest in areas once considered off limits to energy explorers.

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