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China pipes 2.38 bcm gas from Central Asia Jan-Aug

09-26-2010 14:29 BJT

BEIJING - China piped home 2.38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas from Central Asia in the first eight months of this year, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Saturday, citing industry statistics.

However, the commission said it received reports that CNPC, operator the landmark Central Asia - China gas project, incurred huge losses as the prices of the imports were apparently higher than domestic gas selling prices.

It did not provide more details about the losses or the prices.

With gas imports including liquefied natural gas in August surging 1.9 times to 1.77 bcm from a year earlier, China's apparent gas consumption increased 23.8 percent on year to 8.8 bcm last month, the highest since April, the commission said.

For the first eight months, apparent gas demand gained 21 percent to 69.2 bcm, thanks to rising consumption from existing regions such as Shanghai and Zhejiang and new demand from regions such as Jiangxi, Guangxi and Fujian, it said.

Despite rising supplies from domestic fields and foreign countries, China will face some pressure to maintain steady gas supplies in the winter season because of rising need for the cleaner fuel, the commission said.

Gas inventories in the Dagang storage base, the main supply backup for northern China's Beijing and Tianjin regions, totalled 1.6 bcm at the end of August, 400 million cubic metres more than a year earlier, the commission said.

Some Chinese plants and factories were forced to reduce or even shut operations last winter when gas shortages worsened, forcing leading gas supplier PetroChina, a listed arm of CNPC, to pump more from its fields and scour spot LNG supplies in the international market for the first time ever.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: China Daily

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