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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


Pipeline supplies

"LNG accounts for only 10 percent of China's entire gas supply, which means pipeline gas from energy companies is still the main source. It is the key to solving shortages," he said, but noted that issues exist not only in supply, but also in pipeline construction.

"Pipeline coverage in China lags far behind other nations, based on the size of the country. The shortage is a complicated issue; fixing it will require time and industrial reform. It won't be solved all at once."

In the meantime, energy companies are attempting to plug the gap.

On Saturday, China National Petroleum Corp, the nation's largest natural gas producer and importer, said the National Development and Reform Commission had ordered it to launch an emergency plan to raise output of natural gas. The company has pledged to prioritize homes over industrial users.

A source close to the issue, who did not want to be identified, said CNPC has placed the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region at the top of its list of priorities and plans to supply 20.6 billion cu m this winter, a rise of 19.3 percent year-on-year.

Sinopec, a State-owned oil and gas giant, has said it expects to supply 15.1 billion cu m nationwide over the same period, a rise of 13 percent from last year.

A document provided by the company said its oil and gas fields are now running at full production to boost output. Meanwhile, it has also accelerated shale gas exploration with the aim of raising the production capacity at its operation at Fuling, near the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, to 10 billion cu m by the end of the year.

Zheng Jinran and Zhang Yu contributed to this story.

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