China CNPC's $8.5 bln gas storage project starts construction

BEIJING, Nov 20 (Reuters) -

* China National Petroleum Corp’s (CNPC) unit Liaohe Oilfield of CNPC kicked off construction of its gas storage group project in Panjin city in Liaoning province on Wednesday, the state-backed China News Service said

* The project, jointly invested in by Liaohe Oilfield of CNPC and the Panjin government to the tune of about 60 billion yuan ($8.5 billion), is aiming for storage capacity of 11.5 billion cubic meters, according to China News

* The Liaohe project is expected to become the biggest underground natural gas storage centre in northeast China and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the media said, without mentioning when construction would be completed

* State energy group CNPC said in January it planned to build 23 more gas storage facilities by 2030 and expand 10 existing ones to secure supplies of natural gas during peak demand seasons. ($1 = 7.0351 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Mark Potter)