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Russia’s Gazprom To Start China Gas Pipeline By December 1

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom will begin natural gas deliveries to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline ahead of schedule, as early as December 1, 2019, Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom’s Management Committee, has said on a recent visit to China.

The Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline was initially expected to start sending gas to China on December 20, 2019, and its completion is among Gazprom’s top priorities.

After talks in Beijing with officials of CNPC—with which Gazprom has a 30-year contract for the supply of an annual 1.3 trillion cu ft of natural gas via the Power of Siberia pipeline—Miller said:

“Construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline is going ahead of schedule, and Gazprom will start delivering gas to China well in advance, as early as December 1, 2019.”

The Power of Siberia gas pipeline will transport natural gas from the Irkutsk and Yakutia production centers to consumers in Russia’s Far East and to China.

Gazprom is dominating gas supplies to many European markets while it also vies to meet the surging Chinese natural gas demand as the country is in the middle of a massive switch from coal-fired to gas-fired heating in millions of homes.

In 2018, China’s natural gas imports—including pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports—soared by nearly 32 percent from 2017 to a record 90.39 million tons, solidifying China’s position as the world’s biggest importer of the fuel.

China became the world’s top natural gas importer—including LNG and pipeline—in October last year, overtaking Japan which imports all its gas as LNG.

According to Platts Analytics, China—currently the world’s second-largest LNG importer behind Japan—is set to overtake Japan as the top global LNG importer by 2022 as China will continue to be the largest growth factor behind global LNG demand growth.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 18 2019 said:
    The growing energy cooperation between the world’s largest importer of crude oil and gas and the world’s largest producer of oil and largest exporter of natural gas looks like a marriage made in heaven particularly when the two countries have land border between them.

    The expected completion of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline and the start of Russian gas transmission to China before the end of this year will ensure Russia’s dominance in the huge Chinese gas market as it is the biggest supplier of crude oil to China.

    And with the eventual completion of Nord Stream 2 and the Turk Stream before the end of this year, Russia’s dominance in the European Union’s (EU) fast-growing gas market will be unchallengeable.

    Still, the completion of the Power of Siberia will send a huge signal to the EU that Russia is not vulnerable to economic or geopolitical pressure on gas prices of or supplies as it could easily switch its gas supplies from the EU to China.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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