China's Appetite for Russian Gas Grows as Power of Siberia 2 Pipeline Project in the Works
The amount of natural gas that will be able to be shipped to China from Russia via the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline could be roughly equal to the amount that would have been transported to Europe through Nord Stream 2.
Huang Xiaoyong, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ International Energy Security Research Center, told Sputnik that demand for Russian natural gas in China is expected to grow further.
In 2014, Russia signed a long-term contract to supply some 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline, although the pipeline, which officially became operational in 2019, is expected to start working at full capacity only by 2025, as per the contract.
Now, as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have transported vast quantities of natural gas from Russia to Germany, appears to have been put on hold indefinitely by the German side, Moscow and Beijing are moving towards building the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline, which will supply up to 50 billion of cubic meters of natural gas annually to China.
Furthermore, the amount of natural gas that will be transported from Russia to China via the Power of Siberia 2 will be roughly equal to the amount that would have been transported from Russia to Germany via Nord Stream 2.
“In terms of production, consumption and market, the energy cooperation between China and Russia has considerable potential for development,” Huang said.
He pointed out that just as Russia has good prospects for natural gas extraction, China is becoming a large market for this particular resource - a market with a considerable growth potential, because the share of natural gas in China’s overall energy balance is not very significant.
“In terms of clean energy development and decreasing the carbon dioxide emissions, further increase of natural gas consumption should become one of the primary directions of China’s energy policy,” Huang remarked. “If the natural gas that was supposed to be transported to Europe via Nord Stream 2 will be redirected to China, it would be an excellent move for Russia that would allow it to resolve the issue of sustainable development of the oil and gas sector and to obtain a stable source of financial income.”
Huang Xiaoyong also observed that it would not be advantageous for China to follow the United States’ lead and join the economic pressure campaign against Russia, as Beijing gains much more by maintaining an atmosphere of friendly cooperation with Moscow.
“On one hand, natural gas is a very important area of China’s energy sector transformation. On the other hand, good and strong relations with Russia are a foundation of stable cooperation in the energy sphere between our countries. And as long as this foundation remains steady, the Russo-Chinese energy cooperation – the cooperation in the natural gas sphere, in particular – will expand,” he said.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak suggested that the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline could effectively replace
the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.