China's natural gas output increased by 23.1 percent in 2007 and is expected to hit 76 billion cubic meters this year, sources from China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association (CPCIA) said.
In recent years, both the output and consumption volume of China's natural gas has increased by two-digit rates. The natural gas output in 2006 reached 58.55 billion cubic meters, or 19.2 percent more than the previous year. According to the Statistical Review of World Energy 2007 released by BP (British Petroleum), in 2006, the consumption volume of the nation's natural gas was 55.6 billion cubic meters, up 21.6 percent higher than in 2005. In addition, figures from the CPCIA indicated that the output of China's natural gas reached 69.31 billion cubic meters in 2007.
Natural gas is a clean and high-efficiency energy source. The Chinese government has put it high on the agenda and included it in official documents. The 11th Five-year Plan (2006-10) for the Energy Development Planning of China forecasts that the proportion of natural gas in the total primary energy consumption will increase by 2.5 percent within five years, up to 5.3 percent in 2010. On January 7, 2008, the State Council held a meeting to discuss the Layout and the 11th Five-year Plan for Natural Gas, Crude Oil and Refined Oil Product Pipelines, further setting down the goals of the nation's gas pipeline construction.
Construction and layout of gas grid acceleration has promoted the use of natural gas on a larger scope and scale. The first west-to-east natural gas transmission pipeline was put into operation at the end of 2004, which directly facilitated the consumption of natural gas in China. The gas pipeline project from the Puguang Gas Field in Sichuan Province to Yangtze River Delta region started construction at the end of April last year. China began to work on its second west-to-east pipeline last month. It will primarily carry the Central Asia-derived natural gas from western Xinjiang to southeastern areas of the Pearl River and Yangtze River deltas, the country's two most developed regions, to satisfy their energy needs. The transmission ability of this pipeline would be 30 billion cubic meters per year. This pipeline is expected to go into use by 2010.
(China Development Gateway by Xu Lin March 11, 2008)