Beijing Curtails Natural Gas Supply as Weather Disrupts LNG Cargoes

Bloomberg
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December 28, 2015

An LNG carrier berths at PetroChina’s Tangshan LNG terminal. File photo. Credit: Qatargas

By Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) — Beijing suspended gas supplies to some industrial users after liquefied natural gas imports by PetroChina Co. were disrupted.

Gas supplies have dwindled in northern China as LNG imports intended to satisfy peak winter demand were unable to unload because of heavy fog and wind, PetroChina’s parent, China National Petroleum Corp., said on its website. Heating in public buildings in the capital has been curtailed and authorities are working with PetroChina to restore deliveries as soon as possible, the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment said Dec. 26 in its official microblog.

Northern China, including Beijing, has experienced the lowest temperatures in 64 years, leading to a big increase in natural gas consumption, according to CNPC. China cut prices for the fuel last month for business and industrial users in areas including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong as it seeks to boost use of the fuel in its energy mix and reduce pollution, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s economic planner.

Tianjin, located near PetroChina’s Tangshan LNG terminal, issued its highest air pollution alert last week because of smog that covered much of northern China. The CNPC statement didn’t say when the LNG cargoes would be expected to unload. PetroChina spokesman Mao Zefeng didn’t answer two calls to his mobile phone and didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment. Two phone calls went answered to the general line of the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment.

The country’s LNG purchases are down 1.6 percent in the first 11 months of the year, according to the country’s Customs General Administration.

–With assistance from Keith Zhai.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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