China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the nation's largest oil producer, said its natural gas output increased 22 percent in 2007.
Last year the company produced 10 billion cubic meters more than in 2006, said CNPC President Jiang Jiemin.
The company's oil production was up by 1 million tons, he said.
CNPC's gas production mainly comes from four gasfields: Sichuan, Tarim in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Changqing in Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, and Qinghai.
Its Tarim field is the nation's largest gas production base after less than 20 years of development.
The field had produced 15.4 billion cubic meters of gas by December 26, up from 10 billion cubic meters in 2006, CNPC said.
Earlier in 2007 CNPC announced the route of China's second West-East natural gas pipeline. The pipeline will transport natural gas from Central Asian countries including Turkmenistan, and from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to energy-thirsty eastern and southern China, including Shanghai and Guangdong.
The pipeline project will begin this year and the natural gas supply will start in 2010. The pipeline will be able to transport 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
China, the world's second biggest energy consumer after the US, plans to boost its natural gas production 50 percent by 2010 to meet increasing demand.
Analysts said the nation's gas production will be 90 billion cubic meters in 2010. Natural gas will then account for 5.3 percent of China's total energy consumption, up from the current 3.5 percent.
That compares with 20 percent natural gas use in developed countries.
The 2006 natural gas output was 58.5 billion cubic meters.
(China Daily January 3, 2008)