PetroChina says CBM gas output to up 12-fold

Updated: 2011-02-17 06:59

(HK Edition)

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Chinese oil major PetroChina Co Ltd plans to boost annual coal bed methane (CBM) gas output 12-fold to 4 billion cubic meters (cu m) by 2015 from 0.3 billion cu m in 2010, a company official said on Wednesday.

Jie Mingxun, PetroChina CBM's president, said the 4 billion cu m goal would be from self-financed projects.

"We want to step up the intensity of our output increase," Jie told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Hong Kong, adding that the energy giant's current technological know-how was adequate to develop the goal.

Coal bed methane or coal bed gas is a type of natural gas, primarily methane, that is extracted from coal beds.

"I am not saying in the technology area we have no problems, but our current technology can enable us to develop 4 billion cubic meters," he said.

PetroChina, the world's second-most valuable energy company, is among Chinese companies scouring globally for unconventional gas assets to reduce reliance on coal to help fuel the country's booming domestic economy.

The firm last week paid $5.4 billion, a price many analysts consider expensive, for a 50 percent stake in Canadian firm Encana's shale gas assets.

On prospects for future foreign acquisitions and cooperation, Jie said Petrochina is open to different opportunities provided there is an adequate technological need and the right economic environment.

Jie said companies with specific, required technology would likely be targets. Both small and large foreign companies would be considered, depending on the technology in focus. "I would not necessarily say only large firms," Jie said.

China is estimated to have vast potential unconventional gas resources but progress so far has been sluggish.

PetroChina is aiming to equip itself with niche technology required to develop low-cost CBM, to increase the economic efficiency, it said in a booklet to investors.

By 2020, it is aiming to boost output to 10 billion cu m to make up a significant part of parent CNPC's core business, it said.


(HK Edition 02/17/2011 page3)