BEIJING, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The Chinese government announced plans to help spur shale natural gas development in the country by offering subsidies for production.
The government said it aims to produce as much as 229 billion cubic feet of natural gas from shale deposits by the end of 2015.
The Chinese Ministry of Finance announced it was encouraging shale development by offering $2.10 per cubic feet of production through 2015. The ministry added, however, "that subsidies will be adjusted according to the development of the shale gas sector," the Platts news service reports.
The government, in its second auction for shale gas licenses last month, secured 152 bids from 83 companies.
Beijing estimates its recoverable reserve capacity of shale natural gas at more than 800 trillion cubic feet, which would make it the world leader in shale gas.
By comparison, the United States holds an estimated 482 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale natural gas reserves.
An International Energy Agency report described Beijing's shale gas production goal as "ambitious."