The conventional wisdom love to tell us non-experts how much they know about gas: That shale is too expensive and dirty to ever work in Europe and besides they met a geologist down the pub and he said there wasn't any in Europe anyway.  The same guys recycle the same story to include  China.  To have missed the story of  the United States economy transforming into a world engine of growth is careless. To miss the shale story of China is potentially disastrous.  

So some of the expert opinion simply recycles the European pessimism  story of not enough gas, too many people, not enough service industry and great expense and environmental objections.  It won't work in Europe but people like Deutsche, Bernstein, Oxford, Chatham House and Ernst and Young recycle the story for China too.

The alternative is too awful for them to consider. An energy independent China as well as the US not only transforms the world economy it completely kicks away any shred whatsoever of gas in Europe, even without shale,  being insecure and expensive and held hostage to world markets. The story they sell is of shale in China being years off.  One slight problem  China isn't buying that story. 

 China is set for a shale gas revolution which will surpass that seen in the United States, the chairman of Sinopec, the country's second-largest oil company, said a day after Reuters revealed Royal Dutch Shell Plc had begun shale gas production in China.

Fu Chengyu, chairman of state-controlled China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) , said it could take five to 10 years but that China's output would exceed that of the United States.

"I think the total reserves are even more than the U.S. so production is not less than the U.S., but it is a matter of timing," he told reporters at the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress.

Five to ten years?!  With the Jean Luc Picard / Make it so system of governance in China, what the Five Year Plan wants, the Five Year Plan gets.  Often ahead of schedule and under budget. The last sentence is interesting:

Fu added China planned to learn from the U.S. experience to avoid some of the problems that arose there around water supplies and shale drilling

in light of this from the NYT today on air pollution in China:

 The ceaseless churning of factories and automobile engines in and around Beijing has led to this: hundreds of flights canceled since Sunday because of smog, stores sold out of face masks, and many Chinese complaining on the Internet that officials are failing to level with them about air quality or make any improvements to the environment.

  On Tuesday, the English-language China Daily published an article under the headline “Exposure to Smog Is Severe Hazard.” It said the lung cancerrate in Beijing had increased by 60 percent in the last decade even though the smoking rate did not change.

European Greens are default coal enablers through opposition to shale. Is China going to continue with coal in generation and diesel in vehicles simply because theTyndall Centre thinks natural gas is as bad as coal?  Will China forego clean air, better health and thousands of miners lives saved because Mark Ruffalo tells them the shale alternative would poison them? In comparison to what?

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  • Fu Chengyu is very much mistaken. You cannot mandate geology and China's is not good enough over a range of basins to make any such claim remotely credible. China promised the world with CBM and delivered almost none.

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