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The companies won a second round of auctions for exploration rights for 19 shale gas blocks and include 14 state-owned enterprises and two private firms, according to auction results formally announced by the ministry.
Chinese authorities will monitor the impact of shale gas prospection and exploration on the geological environment throughout the entire process, Peng Qiming, an MLR official said.
China held the first round of auctions for exploratory rights for four shale gas blocks in June 2011.
A total of 26 exploitable shale gas blocks have been made available for exploration thus far, with shale gas reserves estimated to total 25.08 trillion cubic meters, according to statistics released by the MLR.