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Plummeting Gas Imports From Central Asia Worsen China’s Shortage

Turkmenistan exported 2.19 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China in November, compared with 2.81 billion cubic meters in September. Above, a natural gas facility is seen in Turkmenistan in November 2013. Photo: Visual China
Turkmenistan exported 2.19 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China in November, compared with 2.81 billion cubic meters in September. Above, a natural gas facility is seen in Turkmenistan in November 2013. Photo: Visual China

Natural gas imports into China from Central Asia fell for the third month in a row in November, exacerbating a gas shortage that has left thousands of northern Chinese households without heating amid harsh winter weather.

Turkmenistan, a major gas supplier, exported 2.19 billion cubic meters (77.34 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to China in November, compared with 2.81 billion cubic meters in September, according to figures from China’s customs authority. The volume supplied by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan rose slightly from October to November, but was not enough to offset the fall in supply from Turkmenistan, the figures showed.

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