China’s natural gas demand growth could be tempered this year as the country pursues coal-to-gas switching objectives in a more measured fashion than in 2017, officials and company executives told an event in Beijing Wednesday.
Speaking at the 4th CWC China LNG & Gas International Summit, Wu Hongkun, CNOOC vice president of trading and marketing, said China’s annual gas consumption growth rate in 2018 could slip below the 15.3% year-on-year growth seen in 2017.
China’s gas consumption is expected to grow by 11.8% in the first quarter of 2018, he added.
Government officials at the conference said coal-to-gas switching will continue apace this year, but further calibration will be taken on the steps taken to achieve targets.
China’s coal-to-gas initiatives “out-performed expectations” last year, possibly leading to gas shortfalls in certain regions, according to Zhang Yuqing, former Deputy Director of the National Energy Administration.
“We are very optimistic about China’s gas demand growth, but there needs to also be effective policies to ensure these targets are reached,” Wu said.