China plans 150,000 km of oil and gas pipelines

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will build a further 150,000 km (93,000 miles) of oil and gas pipelines in the next 12 years, the official Xinhua news agency said Sunday, as the energy-hungry nation looks to guarantee supplies.

China has already built pipelines to bring gas from its far western region of Xinjiang to its booming coast, and is also considering a crude oil and gas pipeline from Russia.

“In the next 12 years, China will build another 150,000 km of pipelines,” Xinhua said in a brief report, without giving further details.

Separately, Xinhua said that the country’s largest open-pit coal mine, in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, is ready to open.

The 7 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) project is run by Shenhua Group, China’s top coal producer, and has about 1.73 billion tonnes of coal reserves, the report said.

“Its estimated coal output was forecast at 7 million tonnes in the fourth quarter this year, but the company didn’t specify the exact date when the mine would be put into production,” Xinhua added.

($1=6.834 Yuan)

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jeremy Laurence