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Chinese natural gas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

  • In January 2015 China held 164 trillion ft3 of proven natural gas reserves.
  • Over the last 10 years, China’s natural gas production and demand have risen substantially.
  • The government targets 6.5 trillion ft3 of natural gas production by 2020 in line with its desire to use more natural gas to replace other hydrocarbons in the country’s energy portfolio.
  • The shares of gas consumption in the power and transportation sectors have been rising over the past decade.
  • China is expected to continue importing natural gas in the form of LNG.
  • China was a net gas exporter until 2007, when it became a net natural gas importer for the first time.
  • In 2013, natural gas imports met 32% of demand.

Sector organisation

  • The natural gas sector is dominated by the three principal state owned oil and gas companies.
  • CNPC is the largest natural gas company in the country.
  • The three NOCs own majority stakes in most of the existing an proposed terminals.
  • China’s natural gas prices are regulated by the NDRC and have been kept below international market rates.


  • China is one of the largest LNG consumers in the world.
  • China stands only behind Japan and South Korea.
  • Less than half of China’s total natural gas imports were in the form of LNG last year as pipeline imports have surpassed LNG purchases.
  • China is set to continue increasing LNG imports over the next several years.
  • At the end of 2014, import regasification capacity stood at 1.9 trillion ft3/y.
  • LNG enters the country through 12 major terminals and a small peaking facility.
  • CNOOC is the country’s key LNG player.
  • Southeast Asia, Australia and Qatar are China’s main sources of LNG.
  • China’s higher gas demand and a tighter LNG global supply market over the past few years led to an increase in LNG import prices.

Edited from report by Claira Lloyd

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