(Updating with comment, background)
SHANGHAI, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) is considering launching natural gas and refined oil products futures contracts as it continues to prepare for its long-awaited crude oil contract, Jiang Yan, chairman of the exchange, told Reuters on Thursday.
He declined to give a timeline for the crude launch.
The Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), a subsidiary of ShFE, which will operate the crude contract, had said in July it aimed to launch the contract this year but has not set a date as yet.
“We are looking at designing natgas futures and oil products futures contracts with major oil and gas producers,” Jiang said. “We are in the early research stage.”
ShFE set up the INE in 2013 with the aim of launching its much-touted crude oil futures, and said at the time it would consider other products such as liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas in future. reut.rs/2A0CYmv
Jiang’s plans to launch a gas contract come in as China’s demand for the clean fuel surged this year due to the government’s drive to wean the nation off dirty coal.
Reporting by Meng Meng and Josephine Mason; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips