BEIJING, April 12 (Reuters) - China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), China’s third largest oil and gas firm, plans a massive natural gas pipeline along China’s southern coast to connect its main liquefied natural gas receiving terminals, a company official said on Tuesday.
It would join CNOOC’s planned LNG terminal in the southern island province of Hainan, terminals planned, under construction or in operation in Guangdong and Fujian, and one under construction in Zhejiang, according to Xing Yun, an official with CNOOC’s gas and power unit.
The pipeline would solidify CNOOC’s capacity as China’s top LNG terminal developer and as the main gas supplier to China’s affluent southern coast.
Xing did not disclose the length, capacity or possible investment of the planned link, saying work including environmental reviews was in progress.
He said while in the past CNOOC was the sole LNG terminal developer in southern China and other firms were focused on north China, the divide no longer existed, with other firms allowed by the government to pursue projects in its traditional territory.
PetroChina , China’s top oil and gas producer, plans a terminal in Guangdong to supplement its flagship second West-to-East pipeline that takes gas from Turkmenistan and will send the fuel from northwestern Xinjiang to Shanghai in the east and to Hong Kong in the south when construction is completed next year.
In Februray, Sinopec , the country’s second largest oil and gas producer and Asia’s top oil refiner, inked a 20-year deal with Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd (APLNG) for supply of 4.3 million tonnes per year which would be shipped in via a planned terminal in the southern province of Guangxi.
Xing said CNOOC was also considering building a LNG terminal in the northern city of Tianjin, which neighbours the capital Beijing.
China plans to raise the proportion of gas consumption in overall energy use to around 10 percent by 2020 from under 4 percent currently.
Analysts and industry officials have forecast the country will boost imports sharply in the years to come as domestic production fails to catch up with demand.
Reported by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner