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Page added on July 26, 2010

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Bloomberg: China First-Half Gas Demand Rises 22% as Output Grows


July 26 (Bloomberg) — China, the world’s biggest energy user, consumed 22 percent more natural gas in the first half compared with a year earlier as the country boosted production and use of the cleaner-burning fuel to cut emissions.

Demand rose after China Petrochemical Corp.’s first-half gas output jumped more than 40 percent, China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s climbed more than 30 percent and China National Petroleum Corp. showed “stable growth,” the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website today. It didn’t specify how much gas China consumed.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, wants state-owned energy companies to boost domestic gas production and import more to help meet emissions goals. Gas imports, including 1.7 billion cubic meters piped from Central Asia and 4.08 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas, rose 1.6 times in the first six months compared with a year earlier, the top economic planner said.

The country may still “face pressure” in various regions during the peak winter demand season because of bottlenecks in pipelines, insufficient stockpile capacity and the unwillingness of gas-importing companies to bring in costlier supplies from overseas, NDRC said.

Unconventional Gas

China, which wants to reduce reliance on coal and oil, is also encouraging domestic extraction of unconventional gas to meet its growing energy needs.

Production of unconventional gas, extracted from shale rocks or coal seams, may exceed 11 billion cubic feet a day in China by 2030, accounting for more than a quarter of total gas supply, Gavin Thompson, China gas study director for Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd., said in an e-mailed note today.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., China Petrochemical’s Hong Kong-listed unit, discovered coal-seal gas in the northern province of Shanxi, according to a statement posted on its parent’s website. Output at the well at Xiangning county exceeded 2,000 cubic meters a day and production is “growing steadily,” it said.

Sinopec, as China Petroleum is known, has identified 18 blocks with potential coal-seam gas assets, the company said in the statement.


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