China’s natural gas consumption rose 22% year-on-year in the first half of 2010, Bloomberg reported. Demand was fueled by rising production and a broader shift to gas in an effort to cut down on emissions. Moreover, the demand seems to be a response to increased supply: China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec; SNP.NYSE, SNP.LSE, 600028.SH, 0386.HK) said natural gas output in the first half of 2010 increased by over 40%, while China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC; CEO.NYSE, 0833.HK) saw a 30% during the same period, and China National Petroleum Corp (PetroChina; PTR.NYSE, 601857.SH, 0857.HK) reported stable growth. Yet the country is still prone to gas shortages during the peak winter season, and the government is keen to diversify the country’s energy portfolio to reduce emissions and increase domestic output. Sinopec said that production in a coal-seal gas facility in Shanxi is "growing steadily," and announced it had identified 18 blocks with potential coal-seam gas deposits.
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