China natural gas imports hit record high last year, increasing by 31.9%
Jan 15, 2019 (China Knowledge) - China’s imports of natural gas surged to a record high last year, growing by 31.9% YoY to reach 90.4 million metric tons.
Natural gas demand has been increasing steadily in China since 2013. From 2013 to 2017, natural gas imports increased by nearly 250%. 2017 alone saw an increase of 26.9% YoY to 68.57 million tons.
The increase in natural gas imports was largely driven by liquefied natural gas (LNG). As the efficiency of LNG terminals improve, more companies are looking to enter the market and are willing to construct more LNG terminals.
At the same time, the memory of a LNG shortage during the winter of 2017 still lingers in the industry resulting in greater importance placed on LNG warehouses to prevent a similar situation from taking place again.
In 2017, China overtook South Korea to become the second-largest natural gas importer in the world. This year, China is expected to overtake Japan to become the world’s largest natural gas importer.
As China continues to cut down on coal power and switch to the cleaner burning LNG, the country’s natural gas imports will continue to increase as domestic production will be unable to meet domestic demand. Last year, natural gas consumption in China surged by about 17% YoY, accounting for 8% of its primary energy consumption.
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