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42

Petrochina To Buy Papua Natural Gas

An initial accord may be signed between the government and the Chinese company

China National Petroleum, the biggest Chinese oil company, is in talks with the Papua New Guinea government about buying natural gas, Petroleum and Energy Minister Moi Avei of Papua New Guinea said Monday.

An initial accord may be signed between the government and the Chinese company during a planned visit by Avei to China early next year, the minister said. China National Petroleum may import the fuel in the form of liquefied natural gas through a plant the company may build in northern Papua New Guinea, he said.

China and its state-controlled oil companies are seeking oil and gas supplies abroad as energy prices reach records. China National Offshore completed an agreement last year to buy a stake in Australia's North West Shelf gas reserves as part of a plan to buy LNG from the venture.

In June, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics estimated that China's LNG demand might surge from zero to 18.3 million tons a year by 2015 as the government promotes the use of cleaner-burning fuels. China currently relies on coal and oil for 90 percent of its fuel needs.