Natural Gas Imports Keep Rising
Throughout the year in 2017, imports of natural gas in our country have been rising up steadily. Due to the growth of rigid demand, gas imports in 2018 are expected to expand further.
According to statistics released by China's General Administration of Customs, China's gas imports is 68.57 million tons in 2017, up 26.9% over the same period the year before; Import amount is 157.393 billion yuan, up 44.5% over the same period the year before. According to Sun Yang, Zhongyu information analyst, in the winter of 2017, while PetroChina co-ordinates all parties to guarantee the increase of the pipeline gas supply, but subject to the pipeline construction, pipeline inlet import growth is limited. And liquefied natural gas (LNG) with its flexible in operation, convenient in deployment has become a main supply of natural gas market in China in the winter of 2017.
"The import of LNG from customs in 2017 is not as centralized as that in previous years." Sun Yang said 16.33 percent of the imported LNG comes via Shenzhen customs into the Chinese market. With the launch of CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) Eastern Guangdong project and Guanghui Qidong project, the share of LNG imports in eastern and southern China will rise again. At the same time, the heating demand in north China is increasing in winter, and the import volume of the north China receiving stations through Qingdao customs and Shijiazhuang customs will increase gradually.
China's CNOOC Eastern Guangdong 2 million tons/year LNG receiving station project and Guanghui Qidong I of 0.6 million tons/year LNG receiving station project put into production in 2017, China produced 18 LNG receiving station, the transportation capacity is of 51.8 million tons/year, utilization rate is of 73.91% in 2017. Among them, CNOOC has eight receiving stations, and the annual capacity of LNG is 27.4 million tons/year, accounting for 53%. CNOOC imported 1170.51 million tons of LNG in 2017 with 31% imported and 42.72% utilization rate. After configured its own receiving station, GUANGHUI ENERGY (600256) has imported 44.96 million tons of LNG, and the utilization rate of the receiving station is 74.93%.
"Since China's natural gas production is limited, production is not growing as fast as consumption, so we need to import natural gas to supplement our natural gas consumption demand gap." According to Sun Yang, in 2017, China's natural gas production will be 147.96 billion cubic meters, with a total consumption of 24073 billion cubic meters and an external dependence of 39%.
China's pipeline natural gas import is increased relatively stable. In 2019, the open up of China and Russia east line natural gas pipeline will greatly increase the import of gaseous natural gas. At that time, central Asia, China and Myanmar, China and Russia will supply natural gas to our country from the northwest, southwest and southeast, respectively; this will increase the channels of China's gas imports, the diversified supply of imports and also increase the energy security of our country.
"At the end of 2017, the first production line of Sino-Russian cooperation Yamal LNG project will be put into operation. After the completion of the Yamal liquefied natural gas project in 2019, the three production lines will supply China with a steady supply of 4 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually.” Sun Yang said that the Yamal project will not only bring new gas supplier, but will develop a more new channel for China's LNG imports, and the production of LNG project in Australia, the United States will provide favorable conditions for China to import LNG.
Due to the serious imbalance between supply and demand of natural gas in winter, the expansion of natural gas demand in 2018 is likely to be affected; the Hebei region has announced that in principle, no new rural coal upgrading and coal-fired boilers will be replaced in 2018. However, in 2017, China has a large coal reform and a larger base. In 2018, the rigid demand of natural gas needs to be upgraded, and the import proportion of natural gas is expected to expand further.
"As the pace of energy transformation in China's natural gas market continues to accelerate, China's demand for relatively cheaper foreign gas resources is increasing. In the next five years, the proportion of imported natural gas will gradually increase under the situation that domestic and downstream that natural gas consumption is growing rapidly and domestic supply is still to be improved, “said Miao Yingying, a gas analyst at Jinlian. By 2022, China's total imports of natural gas could reach 173 billion cubic meters which will be 1.52 times the volume of imports in 2017, with a compound growth rate of 7.78% for five years.