Construction of a second gas pipeline connecting China's oil-rich western regions with the more industrialized southern and eastern areas is under study, according to sources with China Business News.
An insider who declined to be named said on Wednesday that the pipeline is likely to link Tarim Basin in the west and Guangdong Province in the south, traversing Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.
The exact route of the pipeline, its capacity and construction date were not revealed.
China finished building its first gas pipeline -- linking Xinjiang with Shanghai -- in 2004. PetroChina, the country's largest oil producer, built the 4,000-kilometer pipeline with help from international oil firms such as Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Russia's Gazprom and Exxon Mobil.
China's gas consumption is expected to hit 100 billion to 120 billion cubic meters by 2010, and the figure is likely to double by 2020.
China has already set up oil and gas pipelines extending more than 450,000 kilometers across the nation.
Gas consumption in China currently accounts for 3 to 5 percent of overall energy consumption. The government is planning to raise the proportion to 8 to 10 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2006)