Asian refiner posts 12% fall in earnings

Sinopec plans to boost shale gas production

Sinopec will invest $17.5bn.
Sinopec will invest $17.5bn.

 Sinopec has posted a 12% fall in quarterly earnings, according to figures released by the company this week.

Asia’s largest refiner plans to use funds totalling $17.5bn which it raised through a stake sale, to increase its shale gas production and lower company debt levels.

China is believed to hold the world's largest technically recoverable shale resources and is hoping to replicate the shale boom that has transformed the energy landscape of the United States.

Production at Sinopec’s Fuling shale gas field stands at around 3.2 million cubic meters per day.

The Fuling field, with estimated reserves of 2.1 trillion cubic meters, will reach an annual capacity of 5 billion cubic meters by end-2015, and the capacity should double by the end of 2017.
Sinopec is widely expected to launch an initial public offering of its retail unit in the near future.

Sinopec is also likely to use part of the $17.5 billion proceeds to buy upstream, refinery and petrochemical assets from its state parent, analysts say.

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