China to Step Up E&P, Pipeline Construction

China said it would step up its exploration of oil and gas, and speed up the construction of oil and gas pipelines and storage facilities, the Communist Party said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Pipeline construction in China. (photo: PetroChina)

It will also accelerate the construction of trunk oil and gas pipelines, the Communist Party said Tuesday, reiterating its plans to dramatically increase the breadth of its pipeline transmission and distribution networks.

China, which has reported a significant recovery in energy demand after a period of harsh pandemic lockdowns, has been working to restructure its state-owned energy assets and develop natural gas infrastructure as it shifts from coal-fired electricity generation.

Last December, China’s state-owned energy businesses underwent their biggest shuffle in two decades with the creation of a new centrally administered, state-owned pipeline company that combines all pipeline assets of the top three state-owned energy giants: China National Petroleum Corp., China Petrochemical Corp., and China National Offshore Oil Corp.

The change is designed to open access to China’s pipeline infrastructure to private and foreign energy producers to spur oil and gas exploration. The open pipeline network will allow companies to focus on exploration without any additional costs to move the fuel to market.

China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer and third-largest natural gas user, but its 82,600-mile (133,000-km) oil and gas pipeline network is less than one-fifth the size of the system in the United States, the world’s biggest oil and gas consumer.

— P&GJ staff and Reuters report

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