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China’s shale hunters look beyond Sinopec's Fuling gasfield

China's state-owned oil companies are starting to ramp up their shale drilling efforts as they look to replicate Sinopec’s success at the Fuling gasfield, but high costs and technological problems continue to hamper investment in the sector

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country’s largest gas producer, will accelerate drilling this year and plans to sink more than 100 horizontal shale wells across three exploration areas in Sichuan province, said Wang Haige, a director at CNPC Drilling Research.  CNPC drilled  23 shale wells in the first nine months of this year. Last year it drilled just 13. “This year we have seen a lot of progress, and we expect more next year. We will frack many more wells in the first half of 2015,” Wang says.  The increased drilling has raised hopes from some in the industry that CNPC will be able to discover its first major shale development, following progress at the Fuling shale-gas

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