The Chinese government has supported the development of the natural gas industry since the sixth "Five-Year Plan" (1981-1985) by studying natural gas and its origin, one of the key research projects in technology and science. This ongoing research has shown that natural gases in China are composed of three types: coal-type gas related to coal measures; high-temperature pyrolytic gas related to Paleozoic carbonates; and oil-type gas, which occurs in oil fields related to Cenozoic and Mesozoic lacustrine sediments. Each of these three types constitutes about one-third of the total observed reserves of natural gas in China. Since 1990, we have proposed a new genetic theory of natural gas multisource overlap and multistage continuity; a new biogenic-thermocatalytic transitional zone gas; and comprehensively identifying coal-type gas, which plays an important role in exploring for natural gas.

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