It will take China nearly a decade to put in place the infrastructure needed to unlock the potential of its vast shale gas reserves, an analyst said today.

Paul Pang of consultants IHS CMAI said that the pace of shale gas growth would be much slower in China than in the US because North America already had the necessary pipeline networks in place from conventional gas fields.

“This is going to take a much longer time than what you’ve seen in North America,” he said at Singapore International Energy Week.

However another energy specialist, Wijnand Moonen of Lloyd’s Register, said China’s ability to quickly build roads and pipelines should not be underestimated.

“They seem to be able to do something more rapidly than traditionally in the West. Don’t you think there would be enough pressure to speed up those developments in China?”

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