Asia’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer, PetroChina, found 308.2 billion cubic meters of technically recoverable natural gas in the Sichuan basin of southwest China, parent company and Chinese state-owned oil and gas corporation China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) reported Monday.

China, the world’s top energy user and fourth-largest consumer of gas, has boosted both domestic exploration and imports of gas. In 2011, demand was projected to increase fourfold by 2030.

The Moxi block of Anyue gas field was certified to contain 440.4 billion cubic meters of gas reserves, CNPC said.

Now PetroChina is building a production facility to pump 4 billion cubic meters of gas per year (about five to 10 wells) and later, 6 billion cubic meters per year. CNPC gives no timeline or expected costs for the project.

Since 2011, CNPC has drilled two exploration wells in Anyue field (Gaoshi-1 and Moxi-8), which both yield gas flows of 1 million cubic meters per day.

Last year, China produced 121 billion cubic meters of natural gas, a 9.8 percent increase from 2012, the Chinese government said in January. The 2013 output includes 3 billion cubic meters of coal-seam gas and 200 million cubic meters of shale gas.

Imports to China last year totaled 53.4 billion cubic meters, 31.5 percent of China’s total implied gas demand of 169 billion cubic meters.