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Natural gas shortage eased amid warmer weather

Updated: 2009-11-24 09:30

The situation of gas shortage has been eased, the Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, said in a statement posted on its website Monday.

A surging gas demand after the uncommon freezing weather has caused gas shortage in China's central and eastern regions, and the government is taking emergent measures to tackle this issue, Zhang Guobao, vice ministerĀ of the NDRC and director of the energy bureau, said Monday.

An additional one billion cubic meters of gas was in need despite the West-to-East transmission projects of natural gas had delivered 17 billion cubic meters, said Zhang.

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Related departments were urged to guarantee residential and pubilc sector gas usage, according to the statement.

The government of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, suspended natural gas supply to companies and taxi gas stations on Nov 17 to ensure stable supply to local residents. It also pay 100 yuan ($14.6) daily subsidy to some 8,300 cab drivers, who have to turn to gasoline due to the gas shortage.

Gas producers were encouraged to pump at maximum rates. Daily gas output of PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, reached 182 million cubic meters from Nov 1 to 20, up 22 percent over the same time last year.