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China needs strategic natural-gas reserves: report

China needs strategic natural-gas reserves: report (by Chris Oliver)

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- A senior Chinese oil executive says China needs to establish a strategic reserve for natural gas because of rising domestic demand and increasing import dependency, according to a report Monday by the state-run China Daily. The report cited Zhou Zhibin, deputy general manager of PetroChina Southwest Oil & Gas Field Co., as saying the reserve would help bolster China's energy security. China's demand for natural gas grew by 20% in 2010 from year-earlier levels to 106 billion cubic meters, the report said. China's natural-gas market is expected to reach 260 billion cubic meters by 2015, according to an estimate BP China Holdings Ltd., the report said, although it wasn't clear whether the figure included Chinese gas exports.