A senior official with China’s largest state-own gas company said here Saturday that China planned to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar in the coming years to feed the huge demand of domestic market.

Fu Chengyu, general manager of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), said in the opening ceremony for CNOOC’s office in Doha that his company has secured LNG supply of 13 million tons a year up to date coming from the locally produced and import from Russia and Kazakhstan.

“But this can’t satisfy the market demand. We plan to import 60 million tons of LNG each year by the year of 2020. We hope part of this additional volume come from Qatar.”

CNOOC is the leading LNG company in China and is also the only company with facilities and capacity to receive LNG in China.

Last June, CNOOC signed an agreement to import from Qatar 2 million tons of LNG each year for 25 years.

Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry Abudullah Al-Attiya expressed hope that the establishment of CNOOC’s office in Doha will help strength the energy cooperation between the two countries.

Qatar is currently the biggest LNG exporter in the world with the production of 31 million tons each year. It is expected to produce 77 million tons each year by 2012.

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