And what a game! Disconcertingly for Mrs D, I laughed out loud and heartily when I read this:
"China claims world’s biggest shale gas reserves ... China is planning an investment blitz to unlock its vast reserves of shale gas, convinced it can match the energy revolution under way in the US and meet a significant part of its fast-growing fuel needs. The resources ministry said on Thursday that preliminary surveys showed the country had explorable shale-gas reserves of 25.1 trillion cubic metres, in theory enough to meet China's gas needs for the next two centuries".
You gotta love that, for several reasons: but the one that tickles me is how it fits with something we wrote about in February:
... Gazprom gas for China ? - Gazprom expects a “renewed proposal” from China soon, after failing to sign a contract last year. “We are waiting for a renewed proposal from our Chinese partners, which we feel will be in the nearest future,” Pavel Oderov, head of Gazprom’s department for foreign business, said today. Most commercial terms, except price, have been agreed on ...
Mr Oderov's hopes and feelings may not be fully gratified, we said at the time. And now we know what the 'revised proposal' will be. Picture the scene, and savour.
Oderov: Welcome, Mr No, to the 35th plenary session of our gas contract negotiations. Perhaps you are in a position to respond to our latest price offer, having had time to analyse the generous discount we tabled in November ...
No Fool-Hee: Indeed so, Mr Oderoy. Before we get to that, may I say how interested we were to read that Mr Putin considers shale gas to be 'environmentally disastrous'.
Oderoy: yes, yes, it's disgusting - have you seen the Yankees' production methods ? So unlike the care we take in Siberia with our own gas developments.
No Fool-Hee: Hmmm - have you forgotten that condensate leakage incident when you were showing me around Chayandinskoye last year ? But as it happens, I have seen the Yankees' production methods: in fact, I toured the Barnett field in Texas last month ! I was very impressed. The Americans are conducting seismic surveys in China, too! They are excited, and so are we: 25.1 TCM, they say. Personally I can't say 'trirrion' at all - so let's just call it a whole heap of gas. Stroke of luck, eh ?
Oderoy: Ah ... *coughs and adjusts spectacles*
No Fool-Hee: Yes, Mr Oderoy, a whole heap: but perhaps we should return to the matter in hand. About that 'generous discount' - my notes say 5%, but for a customer as prestigious as the People's Republic, I feel certain that what you meant to say was 50%. Oh, and you can stuff your oil indexation ...