China has increased the development of shale gas in recent years, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced Wednesday.
"In the past four years there have been more than 700 shale gas wells drilled in China, reaching production levels of 0.38 billion cubic feet (11.4 million cubic meters) per day," the EIA said.
The U.S. administration noted that the decreasing cost of drilling shale gas wells and continued investment in Chinese domestic production have led to the prospering shale gas development in the country.
The cost of shale gas production by drilling horizontal wells has fallen as Chinese companies gained experience in shale production, EIA said.
According to China National Petroleum Corporation's Economics and Technology Research Institute, the cost of drilling a horizontal well in shale formations in the Sichuan Basin was between $11.3 million and $12.9 million per well by mid-2015, EIA noted.
Bearing in mind that the Chinese energy market has become increasingly dependent on natural gas imports in recent years, the EIA said "future shale gas production in China would help to meet natural gas demand as the country faces difficulties in developing other natural gas resources."
China's technically recoverable shale gas resources are estimated at 1,115 trillion cubic feet (33.45 trillion cubic meters), according to the U.S. administration.
By Ovunc Kutlu