Friday, February 8, 2008

China's Natural Gas Production up 23.1% in 2006 - 69.31 BCMeters

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's production of natural gas rose 23.1 percent last year, faster than in 2006, to 69.31 billion cubic meters as the country used more "clean" energy, an industry association said.

In 2006, output jumped 19.2 percent to 58.55 billion cubic meters, the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association (CPCIA) said. It also said that output would likely hit 76 billion cubic meters this year.

China used 55.6 billion cubic meters of gas in 2006, an increase of 21.6 percent from a year earlier, according to statistics from BP.

China has set a target of raising the proportion of natural gas in its total energy consumption to 5.3 percent in 2010 from 2.8 percent in 2005, amid efforts to curb pollution. Coal now accounts for about 70 percent of total energy consumption.

The expansion of the natural gas infrastructure, including pipelines, reflected the rapid increases in output and consumption, the CPCIA said.

China plans to start building a second east-west gas pipeline this year. The first such pipeline went into commercial operation in 2004.

The new pipeline is scheduled to become operational in 2010 and will have a designed annual transport capacity of 30 billion cubic meters. It will mainly move natural gas from Central Asia to the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas, the country's two most developed regions.

Construction on another pipeline, which will link the Puguang Gas Field in the southwestern province of Sichuan, one of the country's largest, with the Yangtze River Delta, started last August.

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