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Natural gas shortage cuts into taxis' business

Updated: 2013-12-20 19:21
By Han Junhong in Changchun and Zhao Xinying in Beijing (

A natural gas shortage in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province, led to long lines at fuel stations for taxi drivers.

Taxi drivers in the city waited in lines through the night to fill their tanks, which led to a shortage of cabs on the street.

A taxi driver in the city, who asked to be identified only with his surname Hao, said he waited in a line through the night on Thursday and finally got fuel early on Friday.

Another taxi driver, surnamed Zou, said the delay affected his business.

"Besides, many taxi drivers choose to fuel gasoline as an option, but that adds to the cost of running a taxi and reduces their income," Zou said.

The shortage has lasted several days because the demand currently exceeds supply. The city government has taken measures to solve the problem, such as asking the branch enterprises of Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp in Changchun and other cities in the province to increase natural gas supplies.

The government has also guided local enterprises to purchase gas from other provinces to alleviate the situation. But it may still take some time before the problem is solved, according to the press office of the city government.

In November, China's National Development and Reform Commission warned that there may be natural gas shortages across the country this winter. Lian Weiliang, vice-minister of the commission, estimated that the national demand was at least 192 billion cubic meters while the supply was at most 170 billion cu m.