• 4 minutes Pompeo: Aramco Attacks Are An "Act Of War" By Iran
  • 7 minutes Who Really Benefits From The "Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia" Narrative?
  • 11 minutes Trump Will Win In 2020
  • 15 minutes Experts review Saudi damage photos. Say Said is need to do a lot of explaining.
  • 14 hours Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts "Limited Strikes"
  • 9 mins Ethanol, the Perfect Home Remedy for A Saudi Oil Fever
  • 12 hours Europe: The Cracks Are Beginning To Show
  • 2 hours Hong Kong protesters appeal to Trump for support.
  • 13 hours Memorize date 05/15/2018 cause Huawei ban is the most important single event in world history after 9/11/2001.
  • 9 hours Ban Fracking? What in the World Are Democrats Thinking?
  • 3 hours Millennials: A boil on the butt of the work ethic
  • 27 mins A little something for all you Offshore swabbies
  • 11 hours When Trying To Be Objective About Ethanol, Don't Include Big Oil Lies To Balance The Argument
  • 13 hours LA Times: Vote Trump out in 2020 to Prevent Climate Apocalypse
  • 4 hours Shale profitability
  • 2 hours US and China are already in a full economic war and this battle for global hegemony is a little bit frightening
  • 4 hours Saudi State-of-Art Defense System looking the wrong way. MBS must fire Defense Minister. Oh, MBS is Defense Minister. Forget about it.
  • 22 hours Yawn... Parliament Poised to Force Brexit Delay Until Jan. 31
  • 9 hours Let's shut down dissent like The Conversation in Australia
Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

China Could Quadruple Gas Imports By 2030

China has become the usual suspect when it comes to commodity prices. Whether it’s crude oil or copper, LNG or gold, China is almost invariably the first place everyone looks for an explanation as to why prices are up or down. Now Asia’s largest economy is on its way to swing the international gas market, and swing it big.

According to CNPC, the state-owned oil and gas giant, natural gas imports could jump to as much as 270 billion cubic meters annually by 2030. To put this in perspective, gas imports in 2015 totaled 53 billion cubic meters, with total consumption that year reaching 200 billion cubic meters.

The increase will come largely thanks to a general shift toward cleaner energy sources as China seeks to clean up its image as one of the biggest polluters in the world. The shift is also part of a government strategy to move away from heavy industry to services as a growth driver.

The news, though just an estimate, as noted by CNPC’s head of the International Department Li Yueqiang, could be the best news for the global gas industry in a while. With a saturated market and prices at multi-year lows, things recently have been as gloomy for the gas business as it has been for oil. A fourfold rise in imports in 14 years is not a chance to be missed by gas producers. But then again, not every prospective exporter to China is equal.

Gazprom is perhaps best placed for the moment. The Russian company is already working, in partnership with CNPC, on the Power of Siberia pipeline that will have an annual capacity of 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Naturally, Gazprom is working to make sure there is demand for this gas, with its latest move in this respect a memorandum of understanding with CNPC for the construction of gas-fired power plants. Related: The Rumors Are Back! Oil Rallies On OPEC Chatter

Russia as a whole is also better placed than potential competitors for the moment. Last year, CNPC’s deputy director-general told media that China could import as much as 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2020. The figure includes both pipeline gas and LNG.

LNG is where Russian suppliers may face stiff competition from major producers such as Australia. The Asian LNG market is depressed due to oversupply, but with China undertaking to cut harmful emissions by, among other measures, increasing the share of gas in its energy mix to 60 percent, things are set to change.

There is also another factor that could neutralize the significance of CNPC’s estimates, and that’s local production. China has huge shale gas resources, and local energy majors are paying growing attention to the development of these resources. Sinopec, for one, plans to increase its local gas production twofold by 2020.

It doesn’t become clear from the CNPC estimate whether this looming increase in local production has been fully factored into the calculation of the import figures, and it could make a huge difference. In any case, one thing is certain: China will become a major market swinger when it comes to natural gas.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Godfree Roberts on August 08 2016 said:
    It's misleading and abusive to say 'as China seeks to clean up its image as one of the biggest polluters in the world.'

    China has the biggest population so its aggregate pollution is bigger than, say, Estonia's. But the Chinese per capita pollution is among the lowest in the world: about one fourth of Americans' for example.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play