Offshore gas exploration in China
China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has announced that the country’s production from the South China Sea is projected to reach 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per annum out of a total offshore output of 20bcm by 2015.
Under China’s 2011-2015 five-year plan, which considers the South China Sea crucial to the country’s offshore gas exploration, the total gas production would be 176bcm by 2015, out of which conventional natural gas is expected to account for 138.5bcm, Reuters reports.
The projections have been made in view of the mounting annual gas consumption in the country, which is forecast to grow to 230bcm by the end of 2015, which would increase China’s reliance on foreign imports to about 35%, up from 15% in 2010.
“This will bring new challenges to the country’s energy security, and it must do its utmost to boost effective domestic supplies while at the same time optimising the natural gas consumption mix,” said NEA, according to Reuters.