China expanding oil and gas networks

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Feb. 27 – China is planning to extend its oil and gas pipelines nearly 63 percent by 2010 to meet rising energy demand, according to the nation’s key pipeline builder. Around 25,000 kilometres of energy pipelines will be added according to Su Shifeng, director of the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPLB). China currently has 40,000 kilometers of energy pipelines.

The CPPLB, which currently undertakes construction of more than 80 percent of China’s oil and gas pipeline, recorded US$52.5 million in profits last year, up 82.6 percent from 2005 according to company reports.

The news followed an announcement Sunday, February 25 that Sinopec, Exxon Mobil of the United States and Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco signed deals for a mega-petrochemical expansion project and a fuel marketing venture in Fujian province to tap demand in southeastern China. According to the firms, the deal marked the first fully integrated refining, petrochemical and fuels marketing joint venture project with foreign participation in China. The rising demand for oil pipelines and refinery facilities as China seeks to build a second proposed west-east natural gas pipeline from Xinjiang to inland and coastal regions, as well as possible cross-border routes with Russia will benefit equipment manufacturers.