The New York Times reports that "faced with severe air pollution from coal and a rising dependence on energy imports, China has been eager to follow the United States by rapidly increasing natural gas output. Replacing coal with natural gas has also been central to Beijing’s hopes to limit emissions of global warming gases in China, the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide by a wide margin."
"But China’s ability to extract sufficient natural gas is in serious doubt. Despite heavy investment and strong government support, China’s natural gas production is growing at a slower pace than its decelerating economy. China’s production of natural gas increased just 6 percent last year and 4.4 percent in 2012."
"China’s main problem is that shale gas production has fallen far short of expectations. That has left the country relying on alternative methods considered also-rans by American standards, like pumping natural gas from coal fields."