With Chinas natural gas consumption set to almost
treble over the next eight years, the Asian giant will draw
from all available sources to keep up with demand, according to
a new report from energy industry analysis firm GlobalData.
According to the companys latest research,
Chinas natural gas consumption was 131.7 billion cubic
meters (bcm) in 2011, already a steep rise from the 2000 figure
However, consumption levels are predicted to soar even higher
to reach 375bcm by 2020, thanks to the countrys desire to
increase the share of natural gas in its energy mix, the
China has substantial natural gas reserves of its own, but
demand has already outstripped production, making imports
In 2011, China consumed approximately 131.7bcm of natural
gas, though it only produced 100.9bcm - a disparity that will
only grow in the future.
Accordingly, major Chinese national oil companies such as
China Petrochemical Corp. and its
subsidiary China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec),
China National Petroleum Corp.(CNPC) and its subsidiary
PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PetroChina), and China National Offshore
Oil Corp. (CNOOC) are actively involved in the partial or full
acquisition of overseas assets in an attempt to guarantee
long-term national gas security.
The importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is also set
to be an important strategy in fulfilling Chinas natural
gas needs, the analysts said.
In 1998, the country approved its first LNG project in the Guangdong province to
meet the energy shortages in the countrys south-eastern
By the end of 2011, five LNG terminals were operating in
China with a total re-gasification capacity of approximately 1
trillion cubic feet (tcf). This will climb to 2.8tcf by the end
of 2016 at an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 19.7%, due
to the introduction of a further 11 terminals.
In March of this year, the Chinese government announced a
new shale gas development plan, one of the stated aims of which
is to produce 6.5bcm of natural gas by 2015.
The government also announced that the country has onshore
shale gas reserves of 134.4tcm and exploitable shale gas
reserves of 25.1tcm (excluding the Qingzang Plateau area in the
Tibet region) - a declaration that confirms China as one of the
largest holders of shale gas reserves in the world.
Previously in December 2011, China stated the aim to produce
30bcm of coal-bed methane (CBM) by 2015. 16bcm of this is
expected to come from ground-based projects and the remaining 14bcm
from coal mine projects.