SHANGHAI--China's natural gas consumption grew steadily in the first quarter amid the country's fight against air pollution, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Apparent consumption of natural gas rose 11.6 percent during the January-March period from a year earlier to 77 billion cubic meters, following robust annual growth of 18.1% in 2018, Xinhua said, citing data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

China released a three-year action plan in 2018 to fight pollution, aiming to boost the share of natural gas in its total primary energy consumption to 10% by 2020, Xinhua reported.

According to a separate Xinhua article on May 4, China consumed 76.9 million tonnes of refined oil in the first quarter, up 0.4% from a year earlier.

Gasoline consumption rose 3.7% while diesel consumption shed 4.1 percent during the same period, Xinhua said, also citing NDRC data.