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China says Turkmenistan gas supply has returned to normal after Nov hiccup

Natural gas supplies to China from Turkmenistan’s state-owned energy major Konzern were expected to return to planned levels from Jan. 8, after a supply disruptions in November, the Chinese state planner said.

Gas imports from China’s largest supplier of piped natural gas fell several times in November, but the volumes and durations were small, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on its website late on Tuesday.

“Supplies from Konzern were unstable in November, but it had limited impact on domestic gas,” the NDRC said, adding that supplies would soon return to planned levels.

It denied a report in Chinese media that Konzern would slash gas exports by 35 million cubic metres a day from Tuesday, which could drive up prices.

Later on Wednesday, top state oil and gas producer PetroChina said on its social media blog that gas supplies from Turkmenistan have been restored to normal rates in the morning, adding that the recent supply fluctuations were only 1 percent of the pipeline system’s monthly average volumes.

PetroChina also said it will cap its domestic sales prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) below the peak levels recorded in the last heating season. Earlier on Wednesday, Sinopec said would put a ceiling on prices of LNG sold form its Qingdao and Tianjin import terminals.

Domestic gas consumption has been robust this winter as China keeps up a campaign to switch household and industrial coal boilers to gas.

Daily consumption reached a peak of 1.037 billion cubic metres (bcm) for two consecutive days in November, the NDRC said.

Energy majors PetroChina, Sinopec and CNOOC had 9 bcm of gas stored in underground tanks and LNG storage facilities by Tuesday, the agency said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Meng Meng in Beijing and Chen Aizhu in Singapore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Christian Schmollinger)

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