China’s natural gas consumption is set to almost treble over the next eight years, as it looks to cut its reliance on coal in its energy needs, says a report from market analyst GlobalData.

According to its latest research, China’s natural gas consumption was 131.7bn m3 in 2011, already a steep rise from the 2000 figure of 24.5bn m3. Consumption levels are predicted to soar to reach 375bn m3 by 2020.

Although China has substantial natural gas reserves of its own, demand has already outstripped production, making imports essential.

In 2011, China consumed approximately 131.7bn m3 of natural gas, though it only produced 100.9bcm – a disparity that will only grow in the future.

According to the report, China Petrochemical Corporation and its subsidiary China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and its subsidiary PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are all actively involved in the partial or full acquisition of overseas assets in an attempt to guarantee long-term national gas security.

The importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is also set to be an important strategy in fulfilling China’s natural gas needs. In 1998 it approved its first LNG project in the Guangdong province to meet the energy shortages in the country’s south-eastern coastal area.

By the end of 2011, five LNG terminals were operating in China with a total regasification capacity of approximately 1trn ft3. This will climb to 2.8trn ft3 by the end of 2016 at an Annual Average Growth Rate (AAGR) of 19.7 per cent, due to the introduction of a further 11 terminals.

For more Gas Power Generation news.

For more Asian news.