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Energy initiative to cut smog worsens winter gas shortage

By HOU LIQIANG/DU JUAN/ZHENG JINRAN/ZHANG YU | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-15 06:52

Qi Si'nyu, a villager in Hebei, shows off her new gas-fired boiler. [Photo by WANG JING/CHINA DAILY]

Energy mix

With annual consumption of natural gas only reaching about 230 billion cu m, China has a long way to go to reach the government's target of gas accounting for 10 percent of the energy mix by the end of 2020. Experts say it will require at least 18 percent growth per year to achieve the goal.

In the first half of the year, China consumed 116 billion cu m, a year-on-year rise of 13.5 percent, according to figures presented by Xu Bo, a senior economist at the CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute, at an industrial conference on Nov 29. Output hit 74 billion cu m, while 42 billion cu m was imported, he said.

Analysts said gas shortages will remain a long-term problem.

Liang said the situation in northern China this year has been compounded by a fall in imports. Last week, 21st Century Business Herald reported that pipeline gas exports from Central Asian countries, including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, had fallen to 110 million cu m a day from 130 million cu m. The reason was not immediately clear.

Liu Guangbin, an analyst for commodities consultancy Sublime China Information, said about 30 to 40 tankers carrying liquefied natural gas are en route to China, which will help ease the current shortage, but he predicted that the problem will last at least another five years.

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