Monday, March 11 07:54:50
China opened its second shale gas auction to non-oil firms, seeking to unlock huge reserves and mirror the experience of the United States where independent drillers have driven a shale boom. For a related story: The move has, however, raised concerns over the capacity of the firms picked. The auction attracted more than 100 firms, an eclectic group that included a real estate developer, a grain trader and a tobacco dealer.
The 16 winning firms, which pledged to spend at least $2 billion over the next few years, include six that are state-run and mostly affiliated to big utility and coal firms and eight energy investment firms freshly formed under the auspices of provincial governments. Two are little known private firms. (C) Reuters