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Plans for More Pipelines
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China plans to extend its oil and gas pipelines by nearly 60 percent by 2010 in order to meet rising demand for energy, according to the nation's top pipeline builder.


The oil and gas pipeline industry has experienced its fastest growth since the Ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000), said Tang Yali, vice-president of the natural gas and pipeline company under PetroChina.


"China's oil and gas pipeline industry has increased by 14 percent on average since 1996. Between 2000 and 2005, China has built more pipelines than it did in all the preceding years," he said.


China completed its first West-East gas pipeline in 2004. The pipeline, one of the biggest energy projects in the country, transmits natural gas from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the eastern coast.


As for the second West-East gas pipeline, Tang said the preliminary study for the project is still being conducted.


"The total investment for the pipeline is projected to cross 100 billion yuan," he said, without giving the timetable for the project.


The final route for the new pipeline has not been decided, said Tang, adding that it is likely to connect the gas-rich Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the west with South China's Guangdong Province.


The pipeline is expected to have an annual capacity to transmit 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas.


Natural gas output in China increased by 16.9 percent in 2006 over the previous year. The year-on-year growth rate in 2005 was 20.6 percent, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).


China produced 58.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas last year. The nation has built over 80,000 km of oil and gas pipelines, ranking sixth in the world, according to Xue Zhenkui, president of China Petroleum Pipeline Scientific Research Institute.


(China Daily April 3, 2007)


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