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China’s Sinopec To Significantly Boost Natural Gas Capacity Supply

In an effort to increase the share of natural gas in its energy supply, China’s state energy company Sinopec plans to nearly triple receiving capacity for liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2023, and to raise its domestic shale gas production by two-thirds by 2020.

Sinopec will aim to lift the share of natural gas to half of its total energy supply by 2023, according to company executives.

The drive is also fitting the broader Chinese push to fight pollution by having millions of households switch to natural gas from coal for heating.

This resulted in China becoming the world’s second-largest LNG importer in 2017, outpacing South Korea and second only behind Japan, the U.S. EIA said in February. Chinese LNG imports surged 46 percent last year. And while China increased its domestic production and pipeline imports last year, it was not enough; natural gas shortages in northern China led to record levels of LNG imports during the winter.

Sinopec unveiled plans on Monday to build new LNG receiving terminals on China’s east coast and to expand the capacity of existing facilities that would raise the total capacity to 26 million tons per year by 2023, up from 9 million tons now, Reuters quoted the company as saying.

Related: An Oil Price Rally Is Likely

Sinopec will expand the Dongjiakou and Tianjin terminals and will soon approve the construction of a terminal in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the company’s head of development and planning Dai Zhaoming said.

The expansion projects will need only the approval by local authorities, Dai noted.

In local gas production, Sinopec will aim to lift its shale gas production to 10 billion cubic meters by 2020, Reuters quoted Sun Huanquan, general manager of the oilfield development division, as saying on Monday.

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Sinopec is the operator of the largest shale gas field in China, Fuling, which produced more than 6 billion cubic meters of shale gas in 2017.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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