This morning, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Chris Smith, along with Zhang Yuqing, Deputy Administrator of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), opened the 15th US-China Oil and Gas Industry Forum (OGIF) in Chongqing, China.

In his opening remarks before 240 participants, Smith highlighted the importance of innovation, diversification, sustainability, and efficiencies in the current global oil and natural gas environment.  Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas Paula Gant moderated the first morning session of presentations focusing on sustainability and efficiencies.

This year’s participation is the largest ever for the OGIF.

Yesterday, Sinopec, one of China’s major national oil companies, provided a day-long site visit for U.S. government and industry participants to its Fuling shale gas project, the site of the first commercial shale gas production in China.  By the end of 2014, Sinopec had completed 75 test wells at Fuling, with plans to drill an additional 253 wells.  Currently producing 130 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, Sinopec forecasts production at Fuling to rise to .1765 trillion cubic feet in 2015 and .353 trillion cubic feet in 2017.

The Forum remains a valuable instrument for dialogue and engagement between the U.S. and China at both government and private sector levels.  The increased understanding generated by OGIF not only strengthens ties between the U.S. and China, it’s a vital means to support China’s efforts to develop their unconventional resources and the infrastructure required to deliver them.