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Delays in natural gas supplies force offices and public buildings to turn down the thermostat

Offices, malls, supermarkets and other buildings in Beijing have been told to lower their heat to no higher than 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) in response to a shortage of natural gas. Fog and wind have delayed unloading tankers filled with liquefied natural gas (LNG). The conditions have left PetroChina (ticker: PTR) unable to meet the demand for natural gas, reports Bloomberg.

Northern China is facing the lowest temperatures in 64 years, leading to an increase in natural gas consumption, according to China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC). China lowered the city-gate cost of natural gas last month by 28% in the hopes of spurring greater demand and reducing the country’s reliance on coal.

Authorities said they were working with PetroChina to ensure the deliveries came as soon as possible, but CNPC did not say how long it would take to finishing unloading the LNG cargoes. Meanwhile, Beijing faces a ten-day forecast with temperatures ranging from 32 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beijing on a clear day

Beijing on a clear day

Routing natural gas to residential users

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told state oil and gas companies to prioritize gas supplies for residential users and reduce those for industrial users if demand exceeds supply significantly, reports Reuters.

CNPC, the nation’s largest gas producer, will maximize domestic production and access storage to meet demand, the company said in a statement. The country’s LNG purchases are down 1.6% in the first 11 months of the year, while natural gas demand grew at 2.1% in the first half of the year, compared with 8.9% and 13.1% for the same periods in 2014 and 2013, respectively.


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