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China to boost coalbed gas sector

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BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China will earmark more funds and roll out favorable policies to further exploit its coalbed methane reserves amid increased efforts to step up new energy exploration, the central government has said.

The Chinese government will allocate more money from the central budget and encourage the inflow of private capital for this emerging energy sector, according to an industrial policy released online by the National Energy Administration on Monday.

Preferential measures including helping enterprises to finance and improving the gas pricing mechanism are also noted in the policy.

China plans to complete the construction of two major production bases in the country's central and western regions in 2015, and increase the number to three to five in another five to 10 years.

The Ministry of Land and Resources said previously that the country is aiming to produce 16 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane and put 7.4 billion cubic meters into use in 2013.

China's coalbed methane reserves are estimated at 36.8 trillion cubic meters, ranking as the third-largest in the world after Russia and Canada.

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