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ABSTRACT: The gas balance in Northeast Asia - a regional perspective

Nie, Shangyou , IHS Energy Group, Houston, TX

The Northeast Asia region, including China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan is one of the three largest energy consuming centers in the world following N. America and W. Europe and the world's biggest growing gas market. Natural gas is playing an increasingly important role in the region as it supplements the other energy forms (coal, oil, and nuclear) and is the cleanest fossil fuel. Currently, however, natural gas represents only a small percentage of the primary energy consumption, including 0% for Mongolia and North Korea, 2% for China, 5% for Taiwan, 8.4% for South Korea, and 12% for Japan.

Total natural gas consumption in Northeast Asia is 4 Tcf/year (Japan 63%, China 19%, South Korea 13% & Taiwan 5%). China's consumption is provided by its domestic production, while that for Japan, South Korea and Taiwan relies on imported LNG, now at 71 million tons/year and representing 3/4 of the world's annual LNG production.

Future growth of the natural gas market will be highest in China, followed by Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Natural gas utilization will not start in Mongolia and North Korea until trans-national gas pipelines are constructed through these countries. Russia's Far East (i.e., East Siberia and Sakhlin) is the closest natural gas supplier through a pipeline system. Future investment opportunities include gas exploration in offshore and eastern China, gas development in central and western China, construction of LNG terminals and intra-city pipeline networks in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, and construction of regional and international long-distance gas pipelines.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia