China's natural gas output would at least double the present volume in the coming decade to reach 150 billion to 200 billion cubic meters, PetroChina Vice President Jia Chengzao said on Tuesday.
PetroChina, the country's leading natural gas producer, alone has reported an annual output rise of 10 billion cubic meters for two consecutive years, he said.
"We will strive to keep the same growth rate this year," said Jia, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who is attending the annual political advisory session.
His company produces about 75 percent of China's total natural gas output.
Recent discoveries of new gas fields, including Jidong Nanpu Oil Field in north China's Bohai Bay, which contains 1.18 billion tons of oil and gas reserves, would boost China's natural gas sector and optimize its energy structure, said Jia.
"China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will probably announce the proven reserves of the Longgang gasfield in the southwestern Sichuan Province around the end of this year," he said.
Industry insiders believe the Longgang gasfield contains at least 700 billion cubic meters of estimated reserves.
China's natural gas output reached 69.31 billion cubic meters last year, up 23.1 percent year-on-year, according to China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association.
Listed in Hong Kong and New York, PetroChina Company Limited is the listing arm of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the largest oil producer of China.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2008)