China's gas imports jump to record high as winter weather bites
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's natural gas imports soared to a record in December as the country battled a winter supply crunch, while crude oil imports eased sharply from near-record highs a month earlier, customs data showed on Friday.
December gas imports, including pipeline imports and tanker shipments of LNG, came in at 7.89 million tonnes, 20 percent above November's previous record of 6.55 million tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Imports for the whole of 2017 jumped 27 percent from 2016 to a record of 68.57 million tonnes.
A massive government push to heat millions of homes and power thousands of factories with natural gas in northern China has led to demand for the fuel outpacing supply, while delivery infrastructure has found it hard to cope.
"LNG imports last month reached new highs according to our cargo monitoring and pipeline imports from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan also ramped from previous month," said Diao Zhouwei, analyst of IHS Markit.
Record imports by state energy firms and higher Chinese production have pushed down domestic wholesale LNG prices in north China. Prices were around 5,500 yuan ($848.44) per tonne this week, off 45 percent from peaks seen in late December.
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Richard Pullin and Kenneth Maxwell)
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At October’s HPI Forecast Breakfast for our sister publication, <i>Hydrocarbon Processing</i>, I shared <i>Gas Processing</i>’s forecast on change in the LNG industry.
In one of the toughest markets in the history of gas compression, we are challenged to deliver more with less.
The New LNG Imperative
The shale gas boom established the US as the world’s leading natural gas producer and is responsible for billions of dollars of investments in the US gas processing industry. Since 2012, the US has witnessed unprecedented growth in new gas processing capacity and infrastructure. This rise is due to greater production of domestic shale gas, which is providing cheap, available feedstock to fuel the domestic gas processing, LNG and petrochemical industries. New gas processing projects include the construction of billions of cubic feet per day of new cryogenic and gas processing capacity, NGL fractionators, multi-billion-dollar pipeline infrastructure projects, and the development of millions of tons per year of new LNG export terminal construction. Attend this webcast to hear from Lee Nichols, Editor/Associate Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing, Scott Allgood, Director-Data Services, Energy Web Atlas and Peregrine Bush, Senior Cartographic Editor, Petroleum Economist as they discuss the future of LNG and the application of Energy Web Atlas, a web-based GIS platform which allows users to track real-time information for every LNG project.
November 29, 2017 10am CST
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