BEIJING Dec 29, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)
State-owned PetroChina Co. (PTR), China's largest oil and gas producer by output, will register a 20.5% on-year rise this year in natural gas output and projects an increase of 22.7% in 2007.
Completed construction of production facilities at five major gas blocks resulted in this year's growth, including Kela II and Yingmaili in the Tarim field in the northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region, China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC.YY) the parent company of PetroChina, said in a statement on its Web site Friday.
The company's robust growth in gas production is helping to meet soaring domestic demand for the clean fuel and may reduce China's urgency to import more expensive liquefied natural gas.
The startup of production at the Sulige gas block in the Changqing field, which spans northwestern Shaanxi province and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, also contributed to the growth.
Production facilities at eight more gas blocks are still under construction, which may accelerate output in the coming years, it said, without identifying the blocks.
Output from the company's three largest gas fields - Tarim, Southwest and Changqing - will account for over 70% of its total this year, CNPC said.
PetroChina aims to increase gas output by 10 billion cubic meters in 2007, up 22.7% from an estimated 44 billion cubic meters this year, CNPC said in another statement on the Web site.
The company plans to increase development of difficult-to-extract gas reserves in 2007 to reach the growth goal, it said.
PetroChina's gas output accounts for the bulk of China's total gas output. The company produced 31.7 billion cubic meters last year, meeting about half of China's total gas demand of 65 billion cubic meters.
China's gas demand is expected to grow to 100 billion cubic meters by 2010, according to a government forecast.
Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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