Sup­plies of nat­u­ral gas get a boost

Com­pany beefs up fa­cil­i­ties to en­sure ad­e­quate stocks for north­ern re­gions this win­ter

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­

China Na­tional Off­shore Oil Corp (CNOOC) said on Fri­day that it would bol­ster its liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas stor­age fa­cil­i­ties to en­sure ad­e­quate sup­plies of the clean fuel to north­ern parts of the coun­try this win­ter.

The com­pany en­larged the ca­pac­ity of its cur­rent LNG ter­mi­nal in Tianjin with the ad­di­tion of a new 160,000-cu­bic-me­ter-stor­age ca­pac­ity LNG tank.

The tank can sup­ply nat­u­ral gas for the 15 mil­lion Tianjin res­i­dents for 45 days and help en­sure suf­fi­cient gas sup­ply in the north­ern parts of the coun­try, said Wang Xiao­gang, manag­ing direc­tor of the Tianjin LNG project.

CNOOC, which built the coun­try’s first LNG ter­mi­nal in 2006, cur­rently op­er­ates nine LNG ter­mi­nals na­tion­wide, among which only the Tianjin ter­mi­nal is lo­cated in the north and is al­ready op­er­at­ing at full ca­pac­ity.

The ninth LNG ter­mi­nal in Shen­zhen en­tered op­er­a­tion in early Au­gust, with a re­ceiv­ing ca­pac­ity of 4 mil­lion met­ric tons per year.

The com­pany has stepped up con­struc­tion of its LNG in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties in re­cent years while di­ver­si­fy­ing its over­seas LNG sources to en­sure suf­fi­cient nat­u­ral gas to meet the na­tion’s in­creas­ing de­mand.

Ac­cord­ing to CNOOC, nat­u­ral gas sup­plied to the north­ern parts of the coun­try will reach 6.1 bil­lion cu m, 63.5 per­cent up com­pared with the same pe­riod last year.

It also vowed to use trucks to ship LNG from its re­ceiv­ing ter­mi­nals in south­ern China to ease gas short­ages in the north, if nec­es­sary, against the back­drop of the cen­tral govern­ment’s ef­forts to min­i­mize pol­lu­tion and en­cour­age higher gas us­age to re­place coal for heat­ing in win­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to Na Min, a se­nior an­a­lyst for oil and gas at Bloomberg New En­ergy Fi­nance, as China pur­sues its en­vi­ron­men­tal goals, the mo­men­tum of more nat­u­ral gas im­ports is ex­pected to con­tinue dur­ing the up­com­ing heat­ing sea­son and the coun­try’s oil and gas ma­jors will ap­ply all mea­sures pos­si­ble to en­sure a rel­a­tively sta­ble sup­ply.

“The na­tional oil ma­jors will need to in­crease al­ter­na­tive sup­plies, namely pipe­line im­ports and LNG im­ports from other coun­tries,” said Na. “Aus­tralia, South­east Asia and Qatar will likely be the pre­ferred choices.”

China’s gas con­sump­tion grew 15 per­cent in the first half of 2018 from a year ear­lier, which led to a 50 per­cent surge in LNG im­ports, push­ing them to a his­toric high of 24 mil­lion tons in the first half of 2018.

Ap­proach­ing the win­ter peak sea­son, the China gas mar­ket is still tight, she added.

Ac­cord­ing to Fatih Birol, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency, China is ex­pected to sur­pass Ja­pan by De­cem­ber to be­come the world’s big­gest nat­u­ral gas im­porter, with the gas im­port quan­tity gap set to widen fur­ther.


An LNG con­tainer ship ar­rives at the Tianjin ter­mi­nal of China Na­tional Off­shore Oil Corp.

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