China's natural gas consumption is to reach 100 billion cubic meters by 2010, almost double the figure for last year and well beyond domestic production, according to a new report.
China might produce 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas by 2020, but consumption will increase by 11 percent to 13 percent to reach 200 billion cubic meters by that time, and almost half would have to be imported, Friday's Shanghai Securities News reported, quoting the 2007 China Energy Development Report.
The report, published by the Social Science Publishing House of China, says the national gas pipeline network will cover 270 cities and by 2050 about 65 percent of cities will have access to gas supply.
Total national energy consumption in 2006 included 2.37 billion tons of coal, up 9.6 percent year on year; 320 million tons of crude oil, up 7.1 percent; and 55.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas, up 19.9 percent.
The government is considering energy price reform to encourage efficient energy use by companies and the public. China reduced energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 1.2 percent last year, well short of its four percent target.
On April 1, Beijing raised the price of natural gas for domestic use by 0.15 yuan per cubic meter to 2.05 yuan to encourage energy efficiency.
(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2007)