20 Mar 2023 13:47

Russia in Jan becomes top supplier of gas to China

MOSCOW. March 20 (Interfax) - In January 2023, Russia came out on top in natural gas supplies to China in terms of total exports by pipeline and in liquefied form, China's customs service said in a statement.

Total supplies of Russian fuel amounted to 2.7 billion cubic meters. Russia was far ahead of other major suppliers - Turkmenistan and Qatar (2.2 billion cubic meters each) and Australia (1.9 billion cubic meters).

As for pipeline supplies from Russia, since January 2023, there was another increase in line with the previously defined schedule. As a result, Gazprom delivered nearly 2 billion cubic meters of gas to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline in January. LNG deliveries added another 770 million cubic meters (8-9 batches).

In Russia, bulk LNG is produced by Sakhalin Energy (co-owned by Gazprom, Mitsui, and Mitsubishi) and Yamal LNG (participants include Novatek , TotalEnergies , and China's CNPC and SRF).

Total imports in January 2023 increased by 1% compared with January 2022 to 11.3 bcm. At the same time, imports of liquefied natural gas increased markedly in January - for the first time after a 13- month stretch of declines.

In January 2023, China imported 5.210 million tonnes of LNG, up 7% from January 2022 (4.864 million tonnes). Throughout 2022, purchases declined relative to the same months of the preceding year: the average trend was minus 22%, ranging from 7% to 35%. Imports also declined in December 2021 compared to December 2020.

Total pipeline gas supplies totaled 4.48 bcm in January 2023, following 4.83 bcm in January 2022 and 4.37 bcm in December 2022.

All Central Asian gas suppliers are reducing their exports to cover domestic market demand. Turkmenistan supplied 2.2 bcm, its lowest in 27 months. Kazakhstan has almost stopped supplies, and Uzbekistan has completely ceased exports.