(Adds analyst comment on outage impact)
BEIJING Jan 10 China's state-owned energy
company CNOOC diverted two cargoes of imported liquefied natural
gas (LNG) after a pipeline fire in northern China's Tianjin,
though imports were normal as of Monday, traders with knowledge
of the matter said on Tuesday.
Reuters reported on Dec. 28 that a natural gas pipeline in
Tianjin was closed after it ruptured and caught fire.
Two sources with knowledge of CNOOC's gas operations in
Tianjin said CNOOC diverted the LNG cargoes after the accident
on the pipeline, which is connected to a domestic gas consumer.
"Imports are now back to normal," said one source, adding
that the cargoes were sold back to the supplier under force
majeure terms. The source did not give further details.
A CNOOC press official was not immediately able to comment.
CNOOC, parent of offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd
, operates a floating LNG receiving facility that can
take about 2.2 million tonnes per year of gas.
Chinese state energy firms have promised to boost supplies
of cleaner-burning LNG over the winter months to help curb the
use of the coal burned widely in northern parts of the country
for heating, a main cause of hazardous smog.
Disruption to the pipeline system, which normally meets
nearly half of peak winter demand of 15 million cubic
metres/day, comes at a bad time for CNOOC given the cold snap
fuelling gas burn in northern China, Energy Aspects' Asia
analyst Michal Meidan wrote in a report on Tuesday.
"CNOOC is seeking to mitigate the supply shortfall - which
could reach up to 0.10-0.12 billion cubic metres - by buying LNG
from nearby plants and delivering it by truck to its customers,"
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in Milan and Chen Aizhu in
Beijing; Editing by Christian Schmollinger/Ruth Pitchford)