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A worker checks valves at a Sinopec gas appraisal well in Langzhong county, in China’s Sichuan province. Patent filings in the Chinese oil and gas sector have risen in the past decade at a compound annual rate of 50 per cent.
A worker checks valves at a Sinopec gas appraisal well in Langzhong county, in China’s Sichuan province. Patent filings in the Chinese oil and gas sector have risen in the past decade at a compound annual rate of 50 per cent.
(STRINGER SHANGHAI/REUTERS)

China’s energy patent boom a bust for output

China’s energy patent boom is making output look like a bust. The Middle Kingdom topped the world in filings for oil and gas inventions last year, but that hasn’t translated into surging production. Many of the applications cover dodgy ideas fuelled by government incentives. It will take more than paperwork to speed the flow of crude.