Gas to stay on tap all through win­ter

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Nat­u­ral gas de­mand for res­i­den­tial use will be guar­an­teed dur­ing the up­com­ing win­ter heat­ing sea­son de­spite the tight gas sup­ply, ac­cord­ing to the na­tion’s top eco­nomic reg­u­la­tor.

More than 120 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters of nat­u­ral gas will be dis­trib­uted na­tion­wide dur­ing the win­ter heat­ing sea­son, with 40 per­cent for res­i­den­tial use, Meng Wei, a spokes­woman for the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Wednes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Meng, the gov­ern­ment, to­gether with China’s oil and gas com­pa­nies, have been push­ing for­ward with the con­struc­tion of a nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion, sup­ply, stor­age and mar­ket­ing sys­tem.

The gov­ern­ment also has a con­tin­gency plan in case of emer­gen­cies such as ex­treme weather, in or­der to guar­an­tee suf­fi­cient sup­plies of gas for res­i­den­tial use dur­ing the win­ter.

The au­thor­i­ties have en­sured a nat­u­ral gas sup­ply of 263.5 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters this year, 24.9 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters more than last year, with some 100 newly opened gas stor­age projects ex­pected to reach a stor­age ca­pac­ity of 16 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters, 3.5 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters more than in 2017, she said.

In the first eight months of this year, nat­u­ral gas con­sump­tion in China reached 180 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters, an in­crease of 17 per­cent yearonac­cord­ing to fig­ures from Bloomberg New En­ergy Fi­nance.

With in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion among do­mes­tic sup­pli­ers, a more open gas sec­tor and more agree­ments with in­ter­na­tional gas sup­pli­ers, an­a­lysts said that the short­age of gas which oc­curred last win­ter is un­likely to be re­peated this year.

Li Li, re­search di­rec­tor at en­ergy con­sult­ing com­pany ICIS China, said China will en­sure suf­fi­cient gas sup­ply this year with more liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas im­ports and im­proved gas pipe­line con­struc­tion.

Na Min, a se­nior an­a­lyst for oil and gas at Bloomberg New En­ergy Fi­nance, said China is bet­ter equipped and pre­pared to meet this year’s win­ter de­mand with in­creased LNG re­ceiv­ing ca­pac­ity, new LNG and pipe­line im­port con­tracts, as well as im­proved pipe­line net­work in­ter­con­nec­tion.

“En­ergy com­pa­nies, lo­cal gov­ern­ments and ur­ban gas dis­trib­u­tors have drawn up con­tin­gency plans to avoid and deal with ex­treme cir­cum­stances, pri­or­i­tiz­ing res­i­den­tial users.”

Tak­ing a cue from last year’s ex­pe­ri­ence, the reg­u­la­tors and en­ergy com­pa­nies started to pre­pare for this win­ter as early as April, when the pre­vi­ous heat­ing sea­son had just ended, she added.

XU CONGJUN / FOR CHINA DAILY

LNG stor­age fa­cil­i­ties in Rudong, Jiangsu prov­ince.

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