China's natural gas consumption grows in first-quarter amid pollution fight: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - 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 percent 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 percent by 2020, Xinhua reported.

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

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

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Stephen Coates