China has approved listing natural gas hydrate, or combustible ice, as the country's 173rd mineral variety, a move that will speed up the exploitation of the clean energy source, an official said Thursday.

"China has succeeded in mineral prospecting and trial mining, both underwater and in the ground," Ju Jianhua, head of the mineral reserves department of the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), said Thursday at a press conference.

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China's first shale gas well: the Wei 201 (2009).

The Changning-Weiyuan national shale gas demonstration zone developed by PetroChina Southwest Oil & Gas Field Company generated more than 2.4 billion cubic meters of shale gas in 2017, the company said Wednesday.

By 2017, the state-level demonstration zone had 163 shale gas wells in production, generating 8 million cubic meters of shale gas each day. Its output accounted for 98.9 percent of the company's total production of 3 billion cubic meters in Sichuan in 2017.

The shale gas-rich Sichuan Basin in southwest China produced about one-third of the country's total shale gas in 2017. The new industry also helped the region to improve its energy structure and shift away from traditional energy sources such as coal.

It is estimated that 3 billion cubic meters of shale gas is equivalent to burning 6 million tonnes of coal, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 4.2 million tonnes.

China has made breakthroughs in shale gas exploration both in capacity and drilling techniques, making it one of the top shale gas suppliers in the world.

By 2020, proven reserves of shale gas will surpass 1.5 trillion cubic meters, according to plans released by authorities in 2017.

Source: www.chinamining.org        Citation: Xinhua

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A technician adjusts a valve on a China-Russia oil pipeline in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province.

[Photo by Guo Junfeng/for China Daily]

The second line of the China-Russia oil pipeline began commercial operation on Monday, another step in diversifying China's energy supply and ensuring its energy security, according to China National Petroleum Corp, the country's biggest oil producer.

The US energy industry revived in 2017 as oil prices kept rising steadily in the second half of the year. Experts believe growing American energy exports and China's rising energy demand will create unique opportunities for the two giant economies in 2018.

Crude oil prices rebounded from $42.06 per barrel this summer to approaching $60 toward the end of the year. Some major financial institutions, including the World Bank, have forecast that the prices would keep rising through 2018.

Russian energy giant Gazprom is in talks with China on natural gas supplies from Russia's Far East, and a contract on deliveries of the fuel is planned to be signed in 2018, Gazprom said on Thursday.

The project was discussed by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and China National Petroleum Corp Chairman Wang Yilin in Beijing on Thursday, Gazprom said in a statement.

BEIJING -- China's top economic planner on Tuesday ordered local authorities to strengthen regulation on the pricing of heating and natural gas during upcoming holidays as demand surged.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement that the heating prices for households converting from coal to gas should be regulated more strictly during the New Year and the Spring Festival.

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