APIC ’13: Asia has huge shale gas reserves but challenges remain

09 May 2013 04:43  [Source: ICIS news]

TAPEI (ICIS)--Technically recoverable shale gas resources in Asia are estimated at 1,400 trillion cubic feet (tcf) (39.6 trillion cubic metres) with China holding the majority of it although infrastructure and technical challenges remain to be overcome for their exploitation, an industry consultant said on Thursday.

China is estimated to hold 1,300tcf of shale gas, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA), with India holding 63tcf and Pakistan holding 51tcf.

Andrew Spiers, senior vice president of consulting firm Nexant, told delegates at the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2013 that these estimates were “highly subjective and questionable” in the wake of scarce data.

In Asia, China is the most advanced in shale gas development, Spiers said, adding that the country’s target of obtaining 50-80 billion cubic metres (bcm) of shale gas at the end of its 12th five-year plan in 2020 is very “ambitious”.

“Nexant estimates China shale gas production could reach 10 bcm by 2020,” he said during his presentation at the inaugural session of APIC in Taipei.

Other Asian countries such as India are expected to struggle to reach significant production, he added.

According to a senior executive of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pakistan’s most serious challenge to exploit shale gas will be availability of water as the south Asian country is an agricultural economy and requires huge quantities of water to meet its needs.

Shale gas development requires huge quantities of water.

Spiers said shale gas production challenges in Asia consist of availability of water, disposal and contamination issues, lack of gas transportation and infrastructure.

APIC is being held in Taipei on 9-10 May.

By: Tahir Ikram
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