106.pngIllustration: Peter C. Espina/GTChina has shown its determination to tackle pollution by shifting from coal to natural gas. But the government is not solely responsible for the gas supply shortage this winter. Oil and gas companies didn't expect or plan for the rapid growth of natural gas demand.中国已显示出决心,通过从煤炭转向天然气来解决污染问题。但是,政府并不是唯一对今年冬天的天然气供应短缺负责的人。石油和天然气公司对天然气需求的快速增长没有预期或计划。The shortage is temporary. But in the long run, China has to exploit its own resources to build a new energy structure.短缺是暂时的。但从长远来看,中国必须利用自己的资源来建立一个新的能源结构。The manufacturing industry in China rebounded in 2017, which drove up energy demand - not just for natural gas but also for coal and electric power. Natural gas demand expanded 15 percent in the first half of 2017, according to industry data. A majority of the increase was for the industrial use. Even without the coal to gas conversion project, a rise of more than 10 percent in gas demand was certain.中国制造业在2017年出现反弹,这推动了能源需求——不仅是天然气,还包括煤炭和电力。据行业数据显示,2017年上半年天然气需求增长了15%。增加的大部分是工业用途。即使没有煤炭转化项目,天然气需求的增长也会超过10%。The recent rise of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) price is unsustainable, and it is likely to fall sharply. LNG will be in excess globally until 2020, according to International Energy Agency. China alone cannot push up the LNG price while prices in other countries remain stable. China has brought in more LNG through imports and pipelines. Once the new supplies fill the shortfall, the price will fall back to its original level.最近液化天然气价格的上涨是不可持续的,而且很有可能会急剧下降。根据国际能源署(International Energy Agency)的数据,到2020年,全球液化天然气将过剩。在其他国家的天然气价格保持稳定的情况下,单靠中国是无法推动液化天然气价格上涨的。中国通过进口和管道输送了更多的液化天然气。一旦新的供应填补了缺口,价格就会回落到原来的水平。There is sufficient gas supply in the short run. In the long run, China cannot bear high dependency on the international market. China can only produce half of its gas demand, so the majority of consumption and increased supply will have to rely on other countries. Global price changes will greatly affect China.短期内天然气供应充足。从长远来看,中国不可能对国际市场产生高度依赖。中国只能生产其一半的天然气需求,因此大部分的消费和增加的供应将不得不依赖其他国家。全球价格变化将对中国产生重大影响。Moreover, in terms of energy security, because most of China's LNG imports are through bilateral pipelines, other countries always have a means of cutting gas supply to China.此外,就能源安全而言,由于中国的大部分液化天然气都是通过双边管道进口的,其他国家总有办法切断对中国的天然气供应。If the Chinese government is determined to have a 15 percent to 20 percent LNG increase, it must develop its own resources, shale gas in particular. China is No.1 in shale gas reserves.如果中国政府决定增加15%至20%的液化天然气产量,就必须开发自己的资源,特别是页岩气。中国是页岩气储量的第一大国。The US has set an example when it comes to shale oil utilization.美国在页岩油利用方面树立了榜样。The success in the US can be seen as a two-stage process. When the international crude oil price was more than $100 per barrel, capital flowed into the shale oil business. With the cost at about $50 per barrel, the profits were huge. Later, the price of crude oil fell sharply, so the money stopped coming in, which forced companies to lower costs.美国的成功可以看作是一个两阶段的过程。当国际原油价格每桶超过100美元时,资本流入了页岩油行业。由于成本是每桶50美元左右,利润是巨大的。后来,原油价格大幅下跌,因此资金停止流入,迫使企业降低成本。In developing shale resources, stage one is attracting more capital in search of profits. Stage two is cutting costs to avoid losses. Shale oil helped keep the global oil price at $50 to 60 per barrel, which led to low energy prices in the US.在开发页岩资源的过程中,第一阶段吸引了更多的资金来寻找利润。第二阶段是降低成本以避免损失。页岩油帮助将全球油价维持在每桶50美元至60美元,导致美国能源价格走低。When China began to consider developing shale gas, the crude oil price had already dropped, and the window to attract capital into shale gas exploration had closed. There are only a few companies producing shale gas in China because the cost outweighs the market price.当中国开始考虑开发页岩气时,原油价格已经下跌,吸引资本进入页岩气勘探的窗口已经关闭。中国只有少数几家公司生产页岩气,因为成本超过了市场价格。The current shale gas reserve in China can meet domestic energy needs. The key question is how to draw capital into the sector. Given the current cost and profit ratio, no company is willing to get in. This will also lead to a downward spiral. Having fewer participants means costs are less likely to fall.中国目前的页岩气储备可以满足国内能源需求。关键问题是如何吸引资金进入该行业。考虑到目前的成本和利润率,没有哪家公司愿意加入。这也会导致恶性循环。参与者较少意味着成本下降的可能性较小。The low oil price in the US is due to competition among many companies. China needs more people and companies to join the shale gas industry to boost technology advancement, hence cutting costs. Therefore, more incentives should be given to companies.美国的低油价是由于许多公司之间的竞争。中国需要更多的人和企业加入页岩气行业,以推动技术进步,从而降低成本。因此,应该给予公司更多的激励。In the early stages of shale gas development, the government should provide policy support and subsidies for this industry. Shale oil and gas are vital for Chinese energy security, even more than wind and solar power. Policy support and subsidies will bring more companies into the game. China may be able to copy the US success if the government has the courage to create an environment for the prosperous development of shale resources.在页岩气开发的早期阶段,政府应该为这个行业提供政策支持和补贴。页岩油和天然气对中国的能源安全至关重要,甚至超过风能和太阳能。政策支持和补贴将使更多的公司进入游戏。如果中国政府有勇气为页岩资源的繁荣发展创造一个环境,中国或许能够复制美国的成功。本文为爱思英语原创内容,转载文章请注明来源。