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Wil­drose leader Brian Jean talks en­ergy; the Chi­nese dragon stokes the shale gale; meet Sta­toil’s young New­found­land geo­physi­cist

THAT’S HOW MANY YEARS BE­FORE CHINA IS LIKELY

to be­come the world’s sec­ond-largest pro­ducer of shale gas. That’s ac­cord­ing to data from the U.S. En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion, which in Au­gust pre­dicted the Asian eco­nomic gi­ant had drilled more than 600 shales gas wells since 2011, and was pro­duc­ing about 500 mil­lion cu­bic feet of shale gas per day by 2015.

The coun­try has been de­vel­op­ing its shale fields through part­ner­ships with in­ter­na­tional oil and gas com­pa­nies. Ear­lier this year, the China Na­tional Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion, or CNPC, signed a pro­duc­tion shar­ing con­tract with BP to ex­plore, de­velop and pro­duce shale gas from China’s Sichuan Basin.

The EIA es­ti­mates that world nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion will grow 62 per­cent from 342 Bcf/d in 2015 to 554 Bcf/d by 2040, with qua­dru­pling vol­umes of shale gas con­sti­tut­ing the largest share of that growth.

The U.S. is pro­jected to re­main the world’s top shale pro­ducer for the fore­see­able fu­ture. Ac­cord­ing to the EIA, Canada’s shale gas pro­duc­tion reached more than four Bcf/d in 2015, and is ex­pected to ac­count for al­most 30 per­cent of the coun­try’s over­all nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion by 2040.

Sinopec tech­ni­cians work on a petro­chem­i­cal plant in China’s He­nan prov­ince

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