China opens 20 blocks of land for shale gas exploration

10 September 2012 09:31  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) announced on Monday that it would open 22 blocks of land totalling 20,000 square km for its second auction on shale gas exploration rights. 

The blocks are located in eight provinces and municipalities across China, which are Guizhou, Chongqing, Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Henan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, the MLR said in a statement.   

The ministry previously offered four blocks of land in its first shale gas auction held in June 2011. The tenders were awarded to Sinopec and Henan Coal Bed Methane.

Eligible bidders for the tender should be Chinese companies or sino-foreign joint ventures in which Chinese partners own a controlling stake. Bidders must also have a registered capital of at least yuan (CNY) 300m ($47m) and good financial backing.

In addition, bidders should either be qualified for natural gas or gaseous mines exploration, or form partnerships with organisations that are qualified. 

The auction will be open till 14 September and results would be announced on 25 October, according to the statement by MLR.

Successful bidders would be allowed to explore shale gas reserves in specific blocks for a three-year time period, starting from the issue date of the shale gas exploration license.

($1 = CNY6.34)

By: Fanny Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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