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    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019 (41)
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    Energy will be one of the main topics at the SPIEF, which opened on Thursday. Over the past two decades, the use of natural gas in the Asia-Pacific region has tripled, making it set to become the global centre for gas trade in the future. China, especially, has an increasing demand for it.

    CNPC Chairman Wang Yilin, in an exclusive interview, told Sputnik that global natural gas consumption may reach 4.7 trillion cubic metres by 2030, which is 800 billion more than in 2018 – mostly due to the growth of consumption in APR states. Which countries will become the main consumers and what competitors to natural gas exist? Read in Sputnik’s interview to find out.

    Sputnik: What technologies and types of fuel can compete with natural gas?

    Wang Yilin: “Natural gas is a fuel, it is mainly used for heating and energy, indispensable for industrial boilers, household appliances, transport, and so on. In the field of electricity generation wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, and other types of energy are essentially competitors to natural gas. If we talk about the industry, AI can trigger the fourth industrial revolution by changing production methods in the industrial sector. The use of natural gas is highly dependent on a person’s life habits.

    Natural gas is expected to be least affected by the technological revolution in this area. In the field of transport, a large number of competitive energy sources have already appeared – steam diesel fuel, electric power, and hydrogen fuel cells – in this area the competition is very high. However, if LNG is used as fuel to provide power output, it can be used on a large scale for commercial purposes, and natural gas will have certain competitiveness in the field of transport”.

    READ MORE: China May Regulate Energy Imports from US Amid Trade Row

    Sputnik: Which countries of the Asia-Pacific region are potential leaders in gas consumption?

    Wang Yilin: “We expect that by 2030 gas consumption will reach 4.7 trillion cubic metres. Compared to 2018, this is [an increase of] more than 800 billion [cubic metres]. 40 percent of the increase would be by APR states, almost 350 billion cubic metres. Gas consumption in China will reach 525 billion cubic metres; compared to 2018, growth will be 240 billion.

    Speaking about other Asian countries, India is now experiencing robust economic growth; very soon it will enter a “golden era” of gas consumption. Pakistan, Thailand, Bangladesh, and other countries, their population is growing, representing a huge potential; gas consumption will surely increase in these countries in the near future”.

    Chinese inspectors patrol past oil tanks at the Dagang commercial oil reserve base
    © East News / Wei ta/Imaginechina/NYWWP
    Sputnik: According to Beijing Gas Group forecasts, the demand for natural gas in China this year will increase by 14 percent. The growth of gas consumption is associated with the government of the People's Republic of China’s policy of abandoning coal-based generation and the transition to clean energy. Who can meet the growing demands of China? Which country is most likely to increase the supply?

    Wang Yilin: “Promoting a revolution in energy production and consumption, creating a clean low-carbon, and a safe and efficient energy system is the future direction of China’s energy sector. Natural gas is considered to be a relatively clean, low-carbon fossil fuel, and therefore plays an important role in the energy conversion process.

    Russia is a neighbour of China; it is rich in natural gas and is the optimal partner of China in the cooperation of the gas industry’s development. According to the “Energy Strategy of Russia until 2035”, we take note of the fact that until this time, the volume of Russian gas exports to the Asia-Pacific region will make up 31 percent.

    READ MORE: China Discovers 100-Billion-Cubic-Meter Natural Gas Reserve in Bohai Sea

    Russia and China in the gas field have additional advantages, our cooperation has broad prospects. By the end of the year, the construction of the Russian-Chinese gas pipeline will be completed, and in the future, Russia will export gas up to 38 billion cubic metres. Moreover, the CNPC is participating in the Yamal LNG project. So in the near future, Russia will become the largest exporter of natural gas to China.

    Central Asia will become another source of natural gas imports for China. Currently, the Central Asia–China gas pipeline has already been built; its capacity has reached 55 billion cubic metres per year. The “Central Asia-China” D string is now in the process of being constructed, with a projected total capacity of 30 billion cubic metres annually. In 2018, China imported 50 billion cubic metres of gas from Central Asia”.

    The views and opinions expressed by Wang Yilin are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019 (41)
    SPIEF, gas, energy sector, China
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