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China imports Uzbekistan gas via pipeline for first time in August


China started importing gas from Uzbekistan via pipeline last month,adding to significant volumes it already receives from Turkmenistan, customsdata released Saturday showed.

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China imported 1,441 mt equivalent (70,197 Mcf) of pipeline gas fromUzbekistan in August, valued at $687,095, the data showed. This wouldtranslate to a price of about $9.17/MMBtu, versus $10.22/MMBtu for Turkmengas during the same month.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov had said in a statement on September 12that the country had started exporting gas to China via pipeline in August. InJune 2010, Tashkent and Beijing signed a framework agreement, under whichstate-owned oil and gas producer Uzbekneftegaz was to supply 10 Bcm/year ofnatural gas to China National Petroleum Corp.

The gas is sent via the Central Asia-China gas pipeline network, whichstarts in Turkmenistan and cuts through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan beforeending in China's western Xinjiang province.

China's total Turkmen gas imports in August stood at 1.28 million mt,or an average of 2 Bcf/day, up 52.7% year on year. This brings China's totalpipeline imports for the month to 2.02 Bcf/day, up 54.2% year on year.

Separately, CNPC said in a report on its website on Monday that Chinahas received a cumulative 36 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistansince the pipeline started operating in 2010.

--Song Yen Ling, by E Shailaja Nair,