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Grasping China's Natural Gas Market Development Phases and Prospects for the Future by Drawing on International Experiences

WU Xu;Development Research Center of The State Council;  
Generally the international natural gas markets have obvious three phases, and after studying the experience of U.S.A., Britain and Japan, the three typical countries, which are early to have been industrialized with large volume of natural gas consumption, it can be found that: the rapid development periods usually last 30 years, and are either in post industrialization or late stage of industrialization;the sectors driving rapid natural gas consumption increase are different;policies and environment protection play a decisive role in the rapid development of natural gas; infrastructure facilities, like pipelines, are the basis of rapid development of natural gas. By contrast, China has entered the rapid development period since 2000, and there is still 10-15 years left; the natural gas consumption per capita and the share of natural gas in primary energy mix are both low, which infers great increasing potential in future; many natural gas utilization sectors will flourish, with the potential of replacing coal as the largest; however, infrastructure utilities and market reform lag behind, it should be accelerated to promote infrastructure construction and reform of marketization and regulation, in order to safeguard healthy and rapid natural gas development.
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