Chinese authorities promise to protect gas supplies following winter fuel shortages

Authorities have already been forced to scale back plans to convert cities to cleaner fuel after residents struggled to keep warm

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 December, 2017, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 December, 2017, 5:45pm

China’s top state planning agency has pledged to ease gas shortages and safeguard supplies for residential heating, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Beijing has scaled back its plan to convert northern cities to cleaner fuel this winter after provinces warned of gas shortages, residents struggled to keep warm and reports of freezing classrooms deepened concerns about a heating crisis.

“Under circumstances where resource supplies cannot meet the needs of both industries and people’s livelihoods, we must always give top priority to the protection of people’s livelihoods,” Xinhua quoted a senior official at the National Development and Reform Commission as saying.

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The state planner and other state agencies, local governments and gas companies had established a joint monitoring mechanism for gas supplies, Xinhua said.

The government had told major state-owned gas producers, including China National Petroleum Corp, to increase production and supply, the report continued.