Kazakhstan in talks with PetroChina after force majeure on gas supplies

FILE PHOTO: PetroChina's logo is seen at its petrol station in Beijing, China, March 21, 2016. Picture taken March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo/File Photo

ALMATY (Reuters) - Kazakh natural gas exporter Kaztransgas is discussing further gas supplies with PetroChina after it issued a force majeure notice citing the coronavirus outbreak, the Kazakh firm said on Friday.

Kaztransgas said gas exports to China continued “in the agreed volumes” for now. The Central Asian nation planned to ship 10 billion cubic metres of its own gas to China this year, in addition to transhipping even larger volumes from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

PetroChina has suspended some natural gas imports, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments and on gas imported via pipelines, as a seasonal plunge in demand added to the impact on consumption from the coronavirus outbreak.

China’s top gas producer and piped gas supplier issued the force majeure notice to suppliers of piped gas and also to at least one LNG supplier, sources told Reuters, though details of the force majeure notice could not immediately be confirmed.

Suppliers in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have so far made no comments on PetroChina’s move.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell