IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Analysis of resource potential for China’s unconventional gas and forecast for its long-term production growth

Listed author(s):
  • Wang, Jianliang
  • Mohr, Steve
  • Feng, Lianyong
  • Liu, Huihui
  • Tverberg, Gail E.
Registered author(s):

    China is vigorously promoting the development of its unconventional gas resources because natural gas is viewed as a lower-carbon energy source and because China has relatively little conventional natural gas supply. In this paper, we first evaluate how much unconventional gas might be available based on an analysis of technically recoverable resources for three types of unconventional gas resources: shale gas, coalbed methane and tight gas. We then develop three alternative scenarios of how this extraction might proceed, using the Geologic Resources Supply Demand Model. Based on our analysis, the medium scenario, which we would consider to be our best estimate, shows a resource peak of 176.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2068. Depending on economic conditions and advance in extraction techniques, production could vary greatly from this. If economic conditions are adverse, unconventional natural gas production could perhaps be as low as 70.1bcm, peaking in 2021. Under the extremely optimistic assumption that all of the resources that appear to be technologically available can actually be recovered, unconventional production could amount to as much as 469.7bcm, with peak production in 2069. Even if this high scenario is achieved, China’s total gas production will only be sufficient to meet China’s lowest demand forecast. If production instead matches our best estimate, significant amounts of natural gas imports are likely to be needed.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 88 (2016)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 389-401

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:389-401
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.10.042
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Tian, Lei & Wang, Zhongmin & J. Krupnick, Alan & Liu, Xiaoli, 2014. "Stimulating Shale Gas Development in China: A Comparison with the US Experience," Discussion Papers dp-14-18, Resources For the Future.
    2. Guanglin Pi & Xiucheng Dong & Cong Dong & Jie Guo & Zhengwei Ma, 2015. "The Status, Obstacles and Policy Recommendations of Shale Gas Development in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-20, February.
    3. McGlade, Christophe & Speirs, Jamie & Sorrell, Steve, 2013. "Unconventional gas – A review of regional and global resource estimates," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 571-584.
    4. Hu, Yan & Hall, Charles A.S. & Wang, Jianliang & Feng, Lianyong & Poisson, Alexandre, 2013. "Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of China's conventional fossil fuels: Historical and future trends," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 352-364.
    5. Wang, Jianliang & Feng, Lianyong & Steve, Mohr & Tang, Xu & Gail, Tverberg E. & Mikael, Höök, 2015. "China's unconventional oil: A review of its resources and outlook for long-term production," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 31-42.
    6. Hall, Charles A.S. & Lambert, Jessica G. & Balogh, Stephen B., 2014. "EROI of different fuels and the implications for society," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 141-152.
    7. Kuwayama, Yusuke & Olmstead, Sheila & Krupnick, Alan, 2013. "Water Resoures and Unconventional Fossil Fuel Development: Linking Physical Impacts to Social Costs," Discussion Papers dp-13-34, Resources For the Future.
    8. Tian, Lei & Wang, Zhongmin & Krupnick, Alan & Liu, Xiaoli, 2014. "Stimulating shale gas development in China: A comparison with the US experience," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 109-116.
    9. Lin, Boqiang & Wang, Ting, 2012. "Forecasting natural gas supply in China: Production peak and import trends," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 225-233.
    10. Mohr, S.H. & Evans, G.M., 2010. "Long term prediction of unconventional oil production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 265-276, January.
    11. Lambert, Jessica G. & Hall, Charles A.S. & Balogh, Stephen & Gupta, Ajay & Arnold, Michelle, 2014. "Energy, EROI and quality of life," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 153-167.
    12. Wang, Ting & Lin, Boqiang, 2014. "Impacts of unconventional gas development on China׳s natural gas production and import," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 546-554.
    13. Li, Junchen & Dong, Xiucheng & Shangguan, Jianxin & Hook, Mikael, 2011. "Forecasting the growth of China’s natural gas consumption," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1380-1385.
    14. Wang, Jianliang & Feng, Lianyong & Zhao, Lin & Snowden, Simon & Wang, Xu, 2011. "A comparison of two typical multicyclic models used to forecast the world's conventional oil production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7616-7621.
    15. Mohr, S.H. & Evans, G.M., 2011. "Long term forecasting of natural gas production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5550-5560, September.
    16. Wang, Jianliang & Feng, Lianyong & Zhao, Lin & Snowden, Simon, 2013. "China's natural gas: Resources, production and its impacts," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 690-698.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:389-401. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.