The increase in gas consumption and imports recorded in China in recent years will continue and Russia’s objective is to become Beijing’s main supplier by 2035.
At the “One Belt One Road” conference held recently in Beijing, China’s leader Xi Jinping met Russian president Vladimir Putin and Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller to discuss the future of the collaboration between their two countries in the energy sector. Putin provided a few details about the meeting during the press conference that followed the event.
“The volumes required by China, specifically the volumes of natural gas, are increasing; additionally, our Chinese partners are asking us to consider the possibility of increasing supplies through the Power of Siberia pipeline that will become operational at the end of the year. And we will”, the Russian president explained to journalists. Putin emphasized the technical capabilities that allow this, even if the priority of the Russian gas industry is to enter the global LNG market, where it is already having success.
As the leader of the Kremlin pointed out, China’s natural gas consumption is continuing to grow: +15% in 2017 and +18% in 2018. China has now become the largest gas importer in the world. And by 2035, according to Alexey Miller, Moscow will become Beijing’s main supplier. “Other two supply projects are also on the agenda: from the far east and from the western route”, said the head of Gazprom. “If these projects are implemented – and Russia is used to implementing almost impeccably its program, at least in the “large project” sector – Gazprom is truly capable of becoming China’s main supplier”.
The current capacity of Power of Siberia – 38 billion cubic meters per year – will allow to provide a trillion cubic meters of natural gas over the next 30 years, starting with 5 billion cubic meters in 2020 and 10 billion in 2021. Additionally, if needed, Gazprom will meet China’s urgent requests and increase its capacity. Resources, which include two new gas fields in eastern Russia (first of all the large Chayandinskoye gas field, currently under development), allow it.