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Liu Yanhua: Take a Calm Approach to the Rise and Fall of
Enthusiasm for Shale Gas Development

Source: xinhuanet Author: Pan Dexin Date: 2014-07-17

With the pressure of various energy challenges, there are increasing calls for energy structure adjustment. Shale gas, once challenged because of environmental pollution risks, has reemerged as a catchword. In this context, Liu Yanhua, Counsellor of the State Council and Former Vice Minister of Science and Technology underlined the importance of taking a calm approach to the rise and fall of enthusiasm for shale gas development.

“Shale Gas is a form of energy with much potential.” At the Guiyang International Eco-Forum, Liu Yanhua recognized the realistic significance of China developing shale gas: “Developing gas resources and expanding the supply of natural gas are the key factors in energy structure adjustment. Scaling us shale gas development and improving shale gas quality is a realistic way to expand natural gas sources.”

But Liu Yanhua also pointed out that despite the broad prospects of shale gas, it cannot solve all energy challenges. At present, there are still many difficulties and issues with the exploration and development. We can neither rush to develop shale gas nor allow inaction. Rather, we should be driven by innovation and let it be tested by time.

Liu Yanhua said that we should be prepared for the high cost of shale gas development. There is still huge room for the improvement of exploration technologies. Without the improvement and unification of exploration methodologies, there can be no objectivity in the prospecting outcomes. Most of the projects are highly costly at the very beginning. After all, shale gas development can only last for over 20 years. Cost should not be an obstacle to China’s development of shale gas.

Liu Yanhua warned, “Getting a resource at the price of damaging another resource is simply not an option”. We should follow with great concern the problem of underground water pollution that may be caused by shale gas development. Preventive measures shall be in place to protect underground water.