BEIJING—China’s Sinopec Corp. (NYSE: SNP) will make arrangements to purchase LNG from the United States as soon as it is ordered to do so by the government, Sinopec President Ma Yongsheng told Reuters on Tuesday.
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As part of the deal, there would be an $18 billion purchase of natural gas from Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSE American: LNG), the Wall Street Journal reported. Cheniere declined comment.
China, the world’s second-largest LNG buyer after Japan, imported just over 2 million tonnes of the super-chilled fuel in the first nine months of 2018, according to Chinese customs.
Imports have since almost dried up after Beijing announced a 10% tariff on U.S. LNG in September.
Top Chinese oil and gas group CNPC last year signed a 20-year deal to buy natural gas from Cheniere through 2043. Sinopec has yet to sign any long-term supply deal with any U.S. supplier.
Speaking on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament meeting, the Sinopec president also said China would likely form a national oil and gas pipeline company this year.
Reuters reported last week that the planned pipeline group will combine the long-distance pipeline assets of the country’s state-owned energy companies in the sector’s largest reshuffle in two decades.
Sinopec plans to shift from refining to more value-added chemicals due to rising competition from private refiners, Ma said.
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Volumes could reach 50 MMbbl/d in just the Permian; all options are on the table.