China's main import gas pipelines

(Reuters) - China, the world's third-largest gas buyer, imports the fuel in gaseous form via long-distance pipelines from three sources - central Asia, predominantly Turkmenistan, as well as Russia and Myanmar.

Its pipeline gas volumes totaled 45.8 million tons in 2022, meeting 17% of China's gas demand.

China separately imported 63.4 million tons of tanker shipped liquefied natural gas (LNG) last year, with total LNG imports meeting 41% of Chinese demand.

The remainder of China's gas was sourced domestically.

Central Asia

China has since 2008 laid three trunklines at an estimated combined cost of more than $14 billion, connecting gas fields in Turkmenistan to the border with China's northwestern Xinjiang region.

Lines A and B start at the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, crossing Kazakhstan before entering China at border town Khorgos. Each spans 1,833-kilometers (1138.97 miles) and together they are able to transport 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year.

Line C, parallel to A and B, started pumping gas to China in 2014 with designed annual capacity of 25 bcm, though the line has been operating under capacity as domestic pipeline infrastructure lags.

A senior CNPC executive told Chinese media in 2017 that China should have recouped the investment of the three lines within 7.5 years if operating at full throttle.

Line D

The newest, Line D, starts at Turkmenistan's giant Galkynysh field, one of the largest gas fields in the world with reserves exceeding 21 trillion cubic meters.

The line, which would be the first to also cross Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, would be 966 km long with annual carrying capacity of 30 bcm. Countries signed preliminary agreements with China in 2013/14.

In September 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a ceremony in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, marking the start of construction of the D line, state media People's Daily reported then.

The project, however, has been slow in coming due to the complex price negotiations between China and Turkmenistan, technical challenges developing Galkynysh field and difficulties laying the pipelines through the mountainous terrains.

Power of Siberia

Russian gas giant Gazprom began delivering gas to China in late 2019 via the 3,000-km Power of Siberia project linking Siberian fields with northeast China. Supplies reached 16 bcm last year with plans to ramp up to reach 38 bcm by 2025.

The pipeline is part of a 30-year, $400 billion deal signed in 2014, a landmark agreement that marked Moscow's diversifying exports away from its top client Europe.

Far East Sakhalin Project

In February of 2022 during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit in Beijing, China agreed to import gas from Russia's Far East island of Sakhalin, via a new pipeline across the Japan Sea to northeast China, with deliveries reaching up to 10 bcm a year around 2026.

Power of Siberia 2

To compensate for the now-defunct Nord Stream 1 pipeline linking Russia with Germany, Putin began last September to revive Power of Siberia 2, which was first proposed years ago.

The proposed 2,600-km pipeline would bring 50 bcm gas from the huge Yamal peninsula reserves in west Siberia. Gazprom began a feasibility study on the project in 2020 and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in late March Moscow was aiming for agreeing contracts this year.

Myanmar-Yunnan Project

The 793-km Myanmar-China Gas Pipeline, linking Ramree Island on the western coast of Myanmar with Chinese border city Ruili of southwestern Yunnan Province, began operating in 2013. It's designed to carry 12 bcm a year.

About 20% of the gas supplies are reserved for local Myanmar market.

But due to low productions from offshore Myanmar gas fields, the pipeline has for years been running under capacity, with 2022 deliveries to China at 3.8 bcm according to Chinese customs.

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