Water management and policy recommendations for shale gas extraction in China

Yu Qiang Xia, Li Song, Michel C. Boufadel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Shale gas holds great promise for a country's economic development and energy independence, but also holds potential perils for the natural resources and the communities. Following the shale gas revolution in the US, China is in full swing to deploy its strategic plan for the shale gas. The Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) has announced the legal status of shale gas as the "172th independent mining resource", and hosted two rounds of bidding for the commercial development of 23 shale gas blocks. The shale gas revolution seems to may happen in China as well. However, some great challenges exist during the shale gas extraction. One is the impact on water resources for shale gas production, unlike the US, water shortage has been a severe problem in China, hindering its economic development. The other one is that shale gas operations may induce environmental problems, such as accidental spills of flowback water, which contains toxic substances. Spills could have long-term cumulative effects on ecosystems, as with oil spills. This paper highlighted water resources challenges and policy vacuum facing in China. Although the U.S. shale gas experience can assist in identifying some potential issues that Chinese regulators and operators may encounter, policy decision on this issue should be based on risk assessment and regulation studies. For China, there is a long way to lay the groundwork for the shale gas revolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainable Development of Industry and Economy
Pages456-461
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event3rd International Conference on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, EESD 2013 - Shanghai, China
Duration: Nov 12 2013Nov 13 2013

Publication series

NameAdvanced Materials Research
Volume869-870
ISSN (Print)1022-6680

Other

Other3rd International Conference on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, EESD 2013
CountryChina
CityShanghai
Period11/12/1311/13/13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Keywords

  • Environmental impacts
  • Policy
  • Shale gas
  • Unconventional gas
  • Water resources

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