Chinese natural gas market led by PetroChina

Press Release   •   Jul 10, 2013 15:43 BST

2012 saw output volumes within the Chinese natural gas market grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% to a total of 108 billion cubic meters, while import volume totalled 42.5 billion; a CAGR of 13%. Meanwhile, the apparent consumption volume was 147.1 billion cubic meters, increasing by 13% Year-on-Year.

Supply in the China natural gas market comes mainly from domestic production, being imported by pipelines, and liquefying.

According to the current technology level, domestic natural gas mainly comes from conventional gas field in China while other unconventional natural gas with great potential is in the stage of initial exploration, technology research or small-scale production.

Natural gas is a kind of energy that is quite clean and environment friendly. Coal is the major primary energy consumed in China, so the increasing consumption of natural gas is helpful to optimise the energy structure.

The proportions of charcoal and petroleum in the national consumption structure of primary energy are about 70% and 20% respectively while that of natural gas is only around 5% (the global average level is 24%). The high consumption of coal will make serious pollution to the environment and lower the energy efficiency.

PetroChina is still the leader in total natural gas output in China, accounting for 73% of the total gas production in 2011. Its production increased by only 4.2% from 2010, with a major contribution coming the from Changqing field, while production from the Sichuan and Tarim basins declined.

Compared to 2010, Sinopec's natural gas output experienced a rapid growth of 17.2%, with almost all growth coming from the Puguang field in the Sichuan and Chongqing area. CNOOC and other producers also contributed significantly to the growth in 2011.

The Chinese NOCs (mainly CNPC/PetroChina and Sinopec) continue the rapid expansion of their domestic gas infrastructure. By the end of 2011, China had 43,100 km of natural gas pipelines, of which CNPC/PetroChina accounted for 76%, Sinopec for 12% and CNOOC/ Others for 10%. In the past 17 years, China built new pipelines that were more than four times as long as all those lines built in the previous four decades.

For more information on the Chinese natural gas market, see the latest research: Chinese Natural Gas Market

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