With the development of China’s “coal to gas” project, the demand for natural gas has increased sharply, while domestic production is far from being met, and natural gas imports have increased substantially. In 2017, China’s LNG imports surpassed that of Korea and became the second largest LNG importer in the world after Japan. In 2018, China surpassed Japan and Germany to become the world’s largest natural gas importer.
According to Ann Xunsi’s statistics, in 2018, Japan imported 82.93 million tons of LNG, China imported 53.76 million tons of LNG, plus about 51 billion cubic meters of pipeline gas imported from Central Asia and Myanmar. According to the data released by the General Administration of Customs, the total import of natural gas in China reached 90.39 million tons in 2018, an increase of 31.9% over the previous year. With the improvement of infrastructure such as pipelines and LNG receiving stations, the scale of China’s natural gas imports will be further expanded.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Natural Gas Report 2018, China’s natural gas demand is expected to grow by 60% by 2023 due to air pollution reduction policies. China is expected to account for 37% of global gas consumption growth between 2017 and 2023. By 2023, the proportion of imports in China’s natural gas supply will rise from 39% to 45%.