China auctions exploration rights for shale gas

China auctioned the exploration rights for a shale gas mine Friday, the first such auction in the country.

Guizhou Industrial Investment Corporation from southwest China’s Guizhou Province paid 1.29 billion yuan (190 million U.S. dollars) for the exploration rights for the mine in Guizhou’s Zheng’an County.

The three-year-long exploration rights were auctioned with a starting price of 42.36 million yuan. The buyer can apply for an extension of two years, provided that they reach the target of scale development in the first three years. New development plans should be submitted for the extension, during which no less than 50,000 yuan per kilometer should be spent prospecting shale gas each year.

The auction plays a significant role in the reform of the exploration rights of China’s oil and gas industry, according to an official with the provincial department of land and resources.

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