China became the world’s biggest importer of natural gas, as it surpassed Japan for the first time. Namely, China imported 7.41 million tons of natural gas, which brought the total amount of imports during 2018 to 34.9 million metric tons.
Compared to China, Japan had less natural gas imports, as the country imported 34.5 million metric tons.
According to local media, most of China’s natural gas imports is transported as LNG. Of these, 4.15 million tons of LNG were imported with ocean tankers in May, and 3.27 million tons via pipeline.
What is more, Xinhua news agency reported that LNG imports reached 15.75 million tons, which is an increase of 58.3% year on year.
Natural gas imports from Russia are also expected to increase, as the East Route Natural Gas Pipeline will have been completed by the end of 2019. The pipeline will transport an additional 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia into China.
The increase in Chinese natural gas imports took place as the country is attempting to cut pollution, implementing a nationwide coal use reduction and other polluting energy sources.