China National Petroleum Corp. announced plans to construct a 57-mile pipeline that would tie shale natural gas deposits in Sichuan province to an existing pipeline in neighboring Yunnan province. It would be the first such pipeline of its kind in China.
The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, assessed global shale reserves in a report published last week. The report said China ranks No. 1 in the world with an estimated 1.1 quadrillion cubic feet of shale natural gas reserves.
The CNPC pipeline would be designed to transport more than 150 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday. Neither CNPC nor Xinhua provided a timeline for the project's construction.
The EIA report said 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.
Xinhua noted Chinese shale natural gas reserves may be costly to extract. The Chinese government has warmed to domestic shale natural gas reserves, however, because of soaring energy demands.