China National Petroleum, China’s largest oil producer and the parent of PetroChina (PTR.NYSE, 601857.SH, 0857.HKG), began construction Tuesday on a cross-country gas pipeline that will span more than 5,000 kilometers and cost an estimated US$19.93 billion, Reuters reported. The pipeline, the third of its type, stretches from the northwestern border of Xinjiang to Fujian province in the southeast and will have a capacity to transport 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, adding to the two current West-East pipelines with capacity of 18bcm and 30bcm. The project is aimed at boosting gas imports from central Asia and is due to be completed around 2015. China plans to secure around 30% of its natural gas consumption from imports this year, up from 5.85% in 2007, according to Liu Tienan, the head of China’s National Energy Administration.
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