CNPC to start west-east gas line build next year

China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) will begin construction of a 6,500-km west-east natural gas pipeline from Xinjiang to Guangdong in August or September 2008, according to Xue Zhenkui, director of the China Petroleum Pipeline Scientific Research Institute in the official Shanghai Securities News.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 9 -- China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) will begin construction of a 6,500-km west-east natural gas pipeline from Xinjiang to Guangdong in August or September 2008, according to Xue Zhenkui, director of the China Petroleum Pipeline Scientific Research Institute in the official Shanghai Securities News. The pipeline, to carry 30 billion cu m/year of gas, is scheduled to complete in 2010.

Pipelaying will begin in Xinjiang where it will parallel China's first West-East gas pipeline to Gansu. The original 4,000 km line—from Xinjiang's Tarim basin to Shanghai—went commercial in 2004.

Officials said branch lines eventually would be built to connect the two west-east pipelines and gas fields, forming a natural gas network to cover the country. They said the network also would link to a natural gas pipeline from Kazakhstan to China.

First phase of the 10 billion cu m/year China-Kazakhstan cross-border project will be completed in 2009, officials said, while the balance of the project will be finished in 2012, increasing capacity to 40 billion cu m.

Meanwhile, Zhao Zhiming, secretary general of the China Petroleum and Petrochemical Equipment Industry Association, said China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. is likely to participate in the Xinjian-Guangdong pipeline project because its Puguang gas field would be part of the network.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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