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Reform Is Pivotal for Shoring up the Massive Development of Natural Gas


By Li Wei, Development Research Center of the State Council

On May 5, 2015, a symposium on "Development Strategies for Natural Gas in China" was held and advisors and experts from relevant departments attended the meeting. In his speech, Li Wei, President, Deputy Secretary of DRC's Leading Party Members' Group and research fellow pointed out that the massive development of natural gas requires, apart from a favorable policy environment, a modern industry system and a government management and regulation setup as additional support. The key to realizing this goal lies in reform. Li Wei's speech focused on the following points. 1. Special efforts should be made to develop natural gas and turn it into the country's major energy. The development of natural gas not only has long-term strategic importance but is also significant for stimulating current economic growth. Natural gas is one of the few and far-between fields that can generate benefits from effective investment. Instead of being troubled by excess capacity, it enjoys a larger room for future development. 2. Endeavour should be made to improve supporting policies to expand the use of natural gas. Demand for natural gas is huge, but such potential cannot be unleashed without policy support. 3. Attention should be paid to increased natural gas supply in a safe and efficient way. Risks should be diffused by diversifying natural gas supplies. 4. The government should abandon control over links of exploration, development and competition and separate network from operation and ensure equal market access through supervision in such natural monopoly links as pipe network, storage and transportation by means of incremental reform and progressive reform as required by the 3rdand 4th Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Apart from enforcing market regulation and increasing investment in technological innovation and environmental safety, the government should also strengthen legislation and law reinforcement to promote reform and development of natural gas industry.