The Gas Glut Cracked Single-Handedly By China

Natural Gas Pipeline

Natural Gas Pipeline. Credit: Flickr/Roy Luck

China has an increased natural gas usage and the gas demand this winter has caught many off guard. In this context, Beijing had an early winter ramp up consequent to gas shortages and provisioning gas that is needed for industrial use and for domestic end-users.

According to data from China’s General Administration of Customs, China imported 5.18 million tonnes of the super-cooled fuel in January, which was a new record, as compared to the previous record of 5.03 million tonnes that was set up in December. Apart from which, LNG import levels also came as China secured supplies in January. It is said that the import levels of China were around 63% which reflects the country’s changing gas and LNG markets.

EEN Energy Holdings, one of China’s largest city gas distributors has a market cap of US$65.4 billion. And, Ma Shenyuan, the Vice President of EEN Energy Holdings said at a recent conference in Singapore that it would have the initial phase of the country’s first privately owned LNG import terminal ready by the middle of the year. It is reported that the Zhoushan terminal in the eastern Zhejiang region in China is over 90% complete. Shenyuan added that EEN was also considering expanding the terminal by 15 MTPA in the next two and three phases.

It is also reported that China’s gas demand is all set to rise which would revolutionise gas markets especially the LNG markets globally including Asia. Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) stated that global natural gas consumption was expected to grow from 340 cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 to 485 Bcf/d by 2040. And, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris projected a similar trajectory.

The next decade would reportedly find an intersection with the Chinese gas demand and robust US shale gas production and corresponding LNG exports. And, China continues to secure LNG deals to meet the gas making mandate of the government by around 10% that is needed for power generation 2020.

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