China may auction off shale gas exploration rights in July

29 May 2012 09:03  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ricki Wang

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is expected to launch its second round of auction on exploration rights of shale gas blocks in July, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Around 20 blocks would be put on auction this time, compared with four the first time an auction was conducted in June 2011, they said.

In a statement on 17 May, China's Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) had said that qualified bidders for shale exploration blocks in China should be Chinese companies with a registered capital of no less than CNY300m ($47m)and healthy financial condition.

The bidders must also have owning qualifications for natural gas or gaseous mines exploration, or have partnerships with organisations that own such qualifications. The companies are required to bid independently, rather than in consortium, the MRL said.

Foreign companies are banned from directly participating in the bidding, but they partner with Chinese firms in the technology aspect of extracting shale gas, industry sources said.

($1 = CNY6.34)

By: Ricky Wang
+65 6780 4359

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