China to expand pipeline network to 240,000km by 2025
China is planning to expand its oil and natural gas pipeline network to around 240,000km by 2025, according to a report released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The expansion plan is jointly released by NDRC and the National Energy Administration (NEA) and aimed at securing future energy supply needs and spurring investment in the sector.
According to Xinhua, which quoted the report, the plan will see the extension of natural gas pipeline network to 104,000km, while crude and refined oil will be stretched to 32,000km and 33,000km, respectively, by 2020.
NDRC basic industries section deputy head Zheng Jian was quoted by China Daily as saying: "The expansion of China's oil and gas pipelines will substantially boost the country's energy security while ensuring its energy diversification.
"The newly constructed pipelines will help connect the south and north, east and west, while linking the sector's upstream and downstream, meeting the emerging demand for cleaner energy and expanding the usage of natural gas."
The decision is in line with the country’s push towards replacing conventional sources such as coal with cleaner energy avenues, for example, natural gas.
China is one of the largest consumers of oil and gas globally.
It is reported that the construction of pipelines will allow increased energy imports.
According to the data revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics, the consumption of coal during last year came down by 4.7%, while the crude oil and natural gas consumption increased by 5.5% and 8% respectively over 2015.
Furthermore, China’s dependence on coal in terms of the total share of energy consumption reduced by 2% from 64% in 2015 to 62% last year.