BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- China's shale gas production surged in March while natural gas production also expanded, indicating improved energy structure as the country shifts away from reliance on traditional energy sources.
Shale gas output jumped 50.4 percent year on year to reach 1.15 billion cubic meters in March, according to National Bureau of Statistics data Monday.
In the first quarter, shale gas output stood at 2.67 billion cubic meters, up 17.4 percent year on year.
The fast growth was mainly due to increased production by the
Changning-Weiyuan national-level shale gas pilot zone in southwest China's Sichuan Province, run by the country's oil and gas giant China National Petroleum Corporation.
China has been making efforts to improve its energy structure, shifting away from traditional energy sources such as coal. Breakthroughs have been made in shale gas exploration both in capacity and drilling techniques, making China one of the top shale gas suppliers in the world.
By 2020, the proved reserves of shale gas will surpass 1.5 trillion cubic meters, according to plans released by authorities at the beginning of the year.