Fracking has transformed the U.S. energy sector and turned the country into the largest producer of oil and natural gas. However, not many people are aware of the fact that U.S. shale reserves are by far not the biggest in the world. In fact, China is believed to be sitting on top of twice the amount of shale gas deposits that the United States has.
Despite its huge fortune buried in shale rock formations, China has been very slow to realize the benefits of fracking and embrace the technology. Recently, the Asian superpower has decided to team up with U.S. fracking experts to start exploring shale resources. According to Deutsche Welle, one of the pioneering fracking companies, FTS International, has formed a joint venture with China's state-owned Sinopec, called SinoFTS. Its goal is to start fracking in central China in 2015.
Although the country may be lagging behind North America, it plans to catch up over the years to come. Next year China plans to extract a total of 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas, but this is expected to rise to 100 billion by 2020. By comparison, U.S. production in 2011 was 170 billion cubic meters, Deutsche Welle reported. Predictions are for China to ramp up production at a very fast pace, once it gains experience in the extraction technique.