China–the world’s biggest energy consumer–has discovered vast amounts of shale gas in its southern province of Sichuan, The Financial Times reports. The discovery is expected to transform China’s energy industry and will provide the country with a “cheap and plentiful” source of fuel for up to the next 300 years, based on amount estimates and current consumption analyses. This unconventional type of gas is extracted from shale rock using highly pressurized water and chemicals–a technique known as “fracking.” It has become an increasingly popular method in energy production, revolutionizing markets around the world, including the United States, the world’s biggest shale gas producer.
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