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China's Feb pipeline gas imports rise 52% on year to record high 3.51 Bcm

Hong Kong — China imported a record high 2.54 million mt of natural gas via pipelines in February, 52.1% higher than the same month last year, detailed data from the General Administration of Customs showed Tuesday, March 24.

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The customs department reports natural gas trade data in metric tons, similar to LNG imports.

February's pipeline imports equate to about 3.51 Bcm.

The jump was mainly due to a 47.6% increase in inflows from Turkmenistan to 2.22 million mt.


China National Petroleum Corp. is responsible for importing gas from Turkmenistan's state-owned Turkmengas under a long-term deal expected to hit 65 Bcm/year by 2020.

Total imports from the Central Asian country were 18.74 million mt, or nearly 26 Bcm, in 2014.

CNPC also imports gas from Myanmar into China's southern Yunnan province and surrounding areas.

Total volumes from Myanmar in February more than doubled to 295,823 mt, the data showed.

China's imports of gas from Kazakhstan, where private company Xinjiang Guanghui imports some of its Kazakh equity production, rose 4.2% year on year to 24,256 mt last month.

China has not imported any gas from Uzbekistan so far this year.

APPARENT DEMAND GROWTH CONTINUES SLOWING

Taking into account LNG imports in February of 1.66 million mt, China's total gas imports were 4.2 million mt, a 32.6% jump year on year, although the volumes were 3.5% lower than in January.

Discounting pipeline gas exports to Hong Kong and Macau, which amounted to 180 million cubic meters and adding domestic production of 10.47 Bcm, China's apparent gas demand in February totaled 16.09 Bcm, rising 10.5% from the same month last year.

Over January to February, China's total gas imports were 8.48 million mt, comprising 4.7 million mt of pipeline gas and 3.78 million mt of LNG.

Adding domestic production of 22.65 Bcm and subtracting gas exports of 420 million cu m, apparent gas demand rose 8% year on year to 33.93 Bcm.

Growth has slowed from the 13.5% witnessed over the same period of 2014.

--Song Yen Ling, yenling.song@platts.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@platts.com