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Turkmenistan takes growing share of China gas market

12 June 2012

The Chinese natural gas market has changed markedly in the past few years thanks to the introduction of a gas pipeline coming from Central Asia, according to China Daily. The Central Asia-China Pipeline, which runs from Turkmenistan into a second distribution pipeline within China, has delivered more than 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas since it came online in 2009.

The Central Asia-China Pipeline has delivered more than 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas since 2009
The Central Asia-China Pipeline has delivered more than 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas since 2009

The 1,138-mile line starts in Turkmenistan, winds through central Uzbekistan and across southern Kazakhstan before entering China’s northwest Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The rate of pipeline imports has steadily increased over the course of the year, with Chinese gas distributor PetroChina Co. projecting the country could bring 24.1 billion cubic meters from Central Asia through 2012, equal to 86% of the country's total imports.

The growing supplies from Turkmenistan have significantly decreased pressure on China to rush through negotiations with Russia to construct a second and third international gas pipeline, which had been intended to carry potentially as much as 68 billion cubic meters per year.

Bloomberg reports that China has begun testing a new pricing method for natural gas in two provinces, which could make liquid natural gas imports more appealing, potentially adding pressure to the current pipeline infrastructure.


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