Econintersect: Fuel consumption in China rose by 7.2% year-over-year in the first half of 2011, according to Shanghai Daily. The increase in natural gas usage dominated the growth, up 21%. Domestic natural gas output increased to 50.5 billion cubic meters and imports increased to 14.1 billion cubic meters. This was a full doubling of imports from the first half of 2010. Most of the gas was imported from Central Asia. The increase in refined oil products increased 7.2%, much less than the number for natural gas, according to Reuters.
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The National Energy Administration, China’s top energy watchdog, was reported by state media last week to have asked PetroChina and Sinopec Corp to further increase gas supplies to power plants during peak electricity demand time.
China is in the early stages of a massive development of its gas market. Traditionally a coal user, it is striving to switch to cleaner fuels in the course of this decade and gas is expected to meet much of the incremental demand for power, along with hydro, nuclear and wind power.