The Middle Kingdom is thought to have the world’s largest technically recoverable shale gas resources, as well as the third-biggest supply of recoverable shale oil—more than 30 trillion cubic meters (1,115 trillion cubic feet) of shale gas—nearly twice what the US claims.
This is exciting news for a country that consumes more energy than any other nation on the planet—and whose natural gas consumption is expected to surge fivefold by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency. China’s reliance on coal-fired power plants, which account for around 70% of its energy consumption, create air pollution so severe that growing public outrage about it could threaten political stability.
World Resources Institute
There’s a catch, though. More than three-fifths of China’s shale resources are in areas where water is very hard to come by, as a new study by World Resources Institute details.