Chinese gas reforms will affect exporters

International reports claim China has submitted a blueprint for its natural gas sector under its 12th Five Year Plan. Such plans could greatly affect gas exporters, suggests an energy analyst. […]

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By Tom Gibson

International reports claim China has submitted a blueprint for its natural gas sector under its 12th Five Year Plan. Such plans could greatly affect gas exporters, suggests an energy analyst.

As part of a strategy to reduce dependency on coal China intends to ramp up domestic production of natural gas over the next few years. Last year Beijing said it wanted to double its share of natural gas in its overall energy mix to 8% by 2015, from nearly 4% at the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan in 2010.

Peter Kiernan, Energy analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit said the changes would affect the international community: “Although natural gas will still represent a small share of China’s overall energy mix, in terms of volume the implications are quite significant for natural gas exporters looking to supply the Chinese market, such as Australia and for international oil and gas companies currently participating in the early stages of unconventional gas exploration, such as shale, in China itself.

“In the last decade much was made about the impact of China on the global oil market, however this decade there will be increasing focus on the impact of China on the dynamics of natural gas markets.”