BEIJING, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Turkmenistan gas piped through China’s second west-to-east pipeline will reach residential users in central China in early December, ahead of schedule to meet a winter demand spike, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on Friday.
PetroChina Co Ltd (0857.HK)(601857.SS)(PTR.N), operator of the giant gas project, opened the valve on Thursday for part of the eastern section of gas pipeline, parent company CNPC said on its website news.cnpc.com.cn.
The newly started section spans nearly 1,400 kilometres from Zhongwei in northern Ningxia region to Huangpi in central Hubei province. It was earlier slated for startup in 2011. Hubei was one of the areas worst hit by a supply shortage last winter.
State energy companies have been asked by the government to boost domestic production, and step up imports from Central Asia and the global market of super-chilled liquefied natural gas to meet a surge in winter consumption. [ID:nTOE6AG03P]
In Feb 2009, PetroChina started laying the eastern section of the second west-to-east pipeline, which ends after 2,477 km in Guangzhou, capital of the southern province of Guangdong.
Gas from Turkmenistan, running nearly 2,000 km through Central Asia before entering China’s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, was expected to reach 17 billion cubic metres next year, up from an estimated 4 bcm this year. (Reporting by Beijing newsroom and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Chris Lewis)