China's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Wednesday urged major natural gas providers to further boost production and seek imports to ease the gas shortage.
Although previous efforts to boost gas supply has ensured residential demand, it would be difficult to fundamentally ease the shortage in the short term, the NDRC said in an urgent notice to three major gas providers -- the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China Petrochemical Corpand China National Offshore Oil Corp.
The commission asked the three giants to continue maintaining high gas output and actively seek imports.
Gas uses for residential purpose must be guaranteed first and industry demand would be supplied in accordance with preset orders when supply was tight, it said.
According to statistics from CNPC, the country's top oil and gas producer, natural gas consumption in northern China surged 56 percent this month compared with the same period last year because of the uncommon freezing weather. Gas consumption in Hunan and Hubei provinces rose 22 percent from a year earlier.
Many large cities, including Wuhan, Chongqing, Xi'an, Nanjing and Hangzhou, have suffered gas shortage.
According to the commission, China's natural gas output rose eight percent in the first 10 months this year from a year earlier.