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China's Nov natural gas consumption rises 4% on year: NDRC

Singapore — China consumed 27.22 Bcm of natural gas in November, up 4% year on year, latest data from the National Development and Reform Commission showed.

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The year-on-year growth was much slower than that of 20.3% seen in November 2018, NDRC's historical data showed.

Over January-November, China consumed 273.5 Bcm of natural gas, up 9% year on year, NDRC data showed. Over the same period of 2018, China's natural gas consumption grew 18.2% on year, the historical data showed.

China's natural gas consumption growth has been slowing over the past year, driven by a softer approach to coal-to-gas switching and weaker economic growth, S&P Global Platts reported earlier.

Meanwhile, the November consumption figure was up 14.5% month on month, Platts calculation showed, which was attributed to stronger seasonal winter demand and the recovery of industrial consumption after China's National Day celebrations in October, market sources said.

China tightened safety and environmental inspections for its week-long 70th National Day celebrations from October 1. This affected industrial activity and energy demand across oil and gas, although the measures have since been relaxed, Platts reported earlier.

On the supply side, China's natural gas production was 15.05 Bcm in November, up 8% on year and up 2.6% on month, NDRC data showed.

China's natural gas output growth accelerated this year, rising 10% on year to 157.33 Bcm over January-November, compared with year-on-year growth of 6.9% in the same period the year before, according to NDRC data.

NDRC's production figures were slightly different from those released by the National Bureau of Statistics earlier. The latter's data showed that China's natural gas output was 15.08 Bcm and 157.46 Bcm in November and January-November, up 8% and 9.2%, respectively.

State-owned PetroChina, which produces around 70% of China's gas output, is expected to produce around 116 Bcm of gas in 2019, up nearly 7 Bcm from 109.37 Bcm in 2018, the largest annual increase in recent years. This is believed to have contributed significantly to the overall growth in Chinese gas output growth this year, Platts reported earlier.

-- Analyst Cindy Liang, cindy.liang@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com