China’s delicate balancing act on gas market reform

By Peter Stewart and Catriona Scott 28 June 2017
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Sinopec's LNG terminal in Beihai. Chinese LNG imports will also be squeezed by increasing volumes of piped supplies. (Sinopec) Sinopec's LNG terminal in Beihai. Chinese LNG imports will also be squeezed by increasing volumes of piped supplies. (Sinopec)

China’s gas demand is expected to grow by 8-9% per year over the next five years, increasing its dependence on imports and forcing it to compete for LNG against Japan and South Korea, the region’s traditional heavyweight buyers of the fuel, as well as emerging buyers.

China’s gas demand growth is outpacing production, widening its supply-demand gap. The country is likely to use around 222 billion cubic metres of gas in 2017, an increase of around 8% from 2016. China’s imports of gas and LNG hit 54 mt last year, up by 22% on an annual basis, and could rise by 14% this year.

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