China to double natural gas energy

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 China will endeavor to double the weighting of natural gas in its total energy consumption basket over the next five years to reduce its reliance on coal, a senior official with the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Saturday.

"Natural gas accounts for only 4 percent of energy in China now. The country will raise that to 8 percent during the 12th Five-Year Period (2011-2015)," Wu Yin, deputy head of the NEA, said at an energy forum in Beijing.

China currently relies on coal for about 70 percent of its total energy.

"The 4-percent level is low compared with the 24.1-percent average globally. China is set to enhance exploration efforts, build gas reserve projects and increase natural gas imports to meet the goal," Wu added.

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