A 1,000t drilling rig is on its way to China for use in extracting shale gas.
Oil and gas firm China National Petroleum Corporation ordered the Terra Invader 350 deep drilling rig from German manufacturer Herrenknecht Vertical GmbH.
The rig will allow multiple wells to be drilled from a single location.
It is scheduled to begin exploration for gas production in Sichuan Province before the end of 2014.
UK prime minister David Cameron gave the green light to fracking in this country when he said in January that the government was “going all out for shale”.
Oil and gas producers last month urged the UK government to create a fracking college to ensure the skills are in place to exploit new reserves.
Is the UK losing out to China in the race to exploit shale gas? Or is more caution about fracking required? Let us know in the comments box below.