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PetroChina shale caution tempers Beijing's ambitions

The state-run company is reluctant to stray from conventional and tight gas projects

China's efforts to tap into its potentially huge shale gas reserves are being hampered by state-run PetroChina's reluctance to prioritise shale development in favour of what it believes are brighter prospects in its conventional and tight gas projects. China has perhaps the largest shale gas resources in the world, with the US Energy Information Administration estimating China's shale gas resources at 31 trillion cubic metres (cm), more than 25 times its conventional reserves. And policymakers have encouraged the country's major state-run players to develop those resources to boost energy security and help ease the country's reliance on coal, which has led to severe air pollution in the coun

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