BEIJING, March 1 (Reuters) - China's Sinopec Corp has started building a base for research into shale gas near its largest commercial discovery of the fuel, an industry website reported on Wednesday.
The company, looking to cement its position as China's leading shale gas developer, plans to spend 339 million yuan ($49 million) building the facility near its Fuling shale project near Chongqing, according to a report by www.cnpc.com.cn.
Sinopec spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.
The centre will also be used to oversee the expansion of the Fuling field's production capacity, the report said.
The Fuling project is China's largest commercial shale gas discovery now under production, with annual output estimated at about 5 billion cubic metres last year.
$1 = 6.8752 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Chen Aizhu