A LNG (Liquefied natural gas) tanker ship unloading its cargo at Shanghai Yangshan LNG terminal. Photo: iStock

China will proactively support enterprises to increase the production of natural gas as well as diversify the import of overseas natural gas, said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, Shanghai Securities Journal reported.

Imported natural gas has become one of the most important sources of natural gas supply in the country. For the first ten months of this year, China has imported 54.17 metric tonnes of natural gas, a rise of 24.9% from a year earlier.

“At present, the international gas price is at a low level, thus increasing the import volume and adding the reserve can ensure people’s natural gas consumption and safeguard energy security,” said Zhang Likuan, an energy expert.

So far, 30% of the natural gas supply relies on imports, and that amount will continue to increase, Zhang added.

Huang Qing, former director of ICIS China, one of the leading commodity market information service providers, thinks the government should facilitate the openness of natural gas import docks, such as opening green channels to import enterprises, which could help to speed up the process of administrative approval.