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Chinese gas imports rise 67% in January

19th March 2012

Surge in China’s natural gas imports not as big as 2011 recordings but still significant.

Chinese natural gas imports rise

China's natural gas imports surged two-thirds year-on-year to 3.6 billion cubic meters in January pushing up the country’s share of natural gas consumption, the country's top economic planner said.

High power demands for winter heating and chemical fertiliser production caused the 66.7 per cent rise, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). 

Natural gas consumption surged 20.1 per cent from a year earlier to 13.7bn cubic meters in January. The rise still less however than last year's peak period, said the NDRC.

Natural gas reserves fell in January due to the lower-than-expected natural gas consumption in north China, especially in Beijing, and an increased output by the Shaanxi-to-Beijing natural gas pipelines, said NDRC.

Meanwhile, the natural gas output increased by 2.4 per cent year-on-year to 9.8bn cubic meters in January, said the commission.

The gas storage group of Dagang, a reserve designed to meet the high winter heating demand in north China, stocked 410m cubic meters of natural gas in January, down by 200 million cubic meters from a year earlier. The reserve was owned by Chinese oil giant PetroChina.

Shaanxi-to-Beijing natural gas pipelines consist of three pipelines. The latest line came on stream in January 2011, following the launch of the first line in October 1997 and the second in July 2005.

China's natural gas imports rose to 17bn cubic meters in 2010, accounting for 16 per cent of the country's total consumption, official data showed.

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