March 11, 2020 / 7:41 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan cuts gas supplies to China by 20-25%

(Adds quotes, context)

NUR-SULTAN, March 11 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan has reduced natural gas supplies to China by 20-25%, Energy Minister Nurlan Nogayev said on Wednesday, after importer PetroChina issued a force majeure notice to suppliers this month.

PetroChina has suspended some natural gas imports, including on liquefied natural gas shipments and on gas imported via pipelines, as a seasonal plunge in demand adds to the impact on consumption from the coronavirus outbreak.

“Even with these cuts, (gas) supplies are roughly at last year’s level,” Nogayev told reporters.

Kazakhstan shipped 7.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to China last year and planned to gradually increase shipments to 10 bcm a year.

Kazakh oil exports to China, suspended in mid-January, have not yet resumed, Nogayev said, because organic chloride continues to be detected in crude produced by CNPC Aktobemunaigas, a local unit of the Chinese energy firm.

“As soon as we deal with these issues, we will renew (oil) supplies to China, resources permitting,” he said.

Nogayev said Kazakhstan supported the idea of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers reaching consensus on output after failed talks last week sent prices plunging.

Kazakhstan plans to attend a technical panel meeting of global oil producers this month, he said. (Reporting by Tamara Vaal; writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Jason Neely)

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