China is the world’s largest consumer of coal. According to the EIA, almost 70% of the energy China used in 2011 came from coal.

world coal usage

However, China announced last year that it plans to cut back on coal in favor of cleaner forms of energy. Chinese Premier Li Kequiang said, “China will wage war against smog weather,” CCTV, a Chinese news organization, reported.

One obvious alternative to coal as fuel for electrical generation, is natural gas. China has approved a $400 billion natural gas pipeline from Russia to China. The country has also been looking into how to develop its own unconventional shale plays. According to an EIA report in June 2013, China is No.3 on its list of top ten countries holding technically recoverable shale oil, estimated by the EIA to be 32 billion barrels, topped only by the U.S. (58 billion barrels) and Russia (75 billion barrels). China ranked No.1 for technically recoverable shale gas with 1,115 Tcf.

China opened blocks of its shale to joint ventures with foreign exploration companies in 2012. A Schlumberger Reservoir Laboratory opened on July 3, 2013 in Chengdu.

china shale

In February of 2014, the EIA compiled a list of refinery projects in China:

Company owner Location Capacity Start date Notes
Sinopec Yangzi 160,000 2014 Q2 Construction; Net refining addition of 90,000 bbl/d after removing 70,000 bbl/d from service
Sinopec Caofeidian/Tianjin 240,000 2015 Construction; Plans to process crude oil from Saudi Arabia
Sinopec Guangdong/Zhanjiang 300,000 2015 Q4 Construction; Developing with Kuwait Petroleum (30%) and TOTAL (20%)
Sinopec Zhenhai/Zhejiang 350,000 2016 Expansion; Construction
Sinopec Hainan 100,000 2015 Environmental approval received February 2013
Sinopec Luoyang 160,000 2016 Expansion
CNPC Pengzhou 200,000 2013 Q4 Trial operations
CNPC Urumqi 120,000 2014 Q1 Construction; Doubles the existing capacity to 240,000 bbl/d
CNPC Huabei 100,000 2015 Expansion; Construction
CNPC Anning/Yunnan 200,000 2016 Construction; Plans to process oil from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait via the crude oil pipeline from Myanmar; JV with Saudi Aramco (39%) and local company (10%)
CNPC Guangdong/Jieyang 400,000 2017 Construction; JV with PDVSA (40%)
CNPC Karamay 100,000 2017 Expansion; Processes bitumen
CNPC Chongqing 200,000 2017 Receive oil from China-Myanmar pipeline
CNPC Jiangsu/ Taizhou 400,000 2017 NDRC approval; Environmental approval pending; JV with Qatar and Shell
CNPC Lanzhou Lianhua 200,000 2017 N/A
CNPC Tianjin 320,000 2020 Planning; FID expected in 2017; JV with Rosneft (49%)
CNPC Shangqiu/Henan 200,000 2020 N/A
CNOOC Ningbo Daxie/Zhejiang 140,000 2014 Q4 Construction
CNOOC Huizhou 200,000 2015 Q4 Expansion; Construction
Sinochem Quanzhou 241,000 2013 Q4 Trial operations
Sinochem Ningbo 240,000 2020 Pending approval
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration based on FACTS Global Energy, PFC Energy, Reuters, Company information.

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