BEIJING, Sept 16 PetroChina (0857.HK) began
pumping coalbed methane into its flagship West-to-East natural
gas pipeline on Tuesday, shipping the dangerous gas for coal
mining from northern Shanxi to faraway gas users.
The coal seam gas produced in Qinshui Basin in coal-rich
Shanxi will be mixed with natural gas from western China and then
sent to users in the east, China Petroleum Daily, a newspaper run
by CNPC, PetroChina's (601857.SS) parent, reported on Wednesday.
PetroChina started building the 35 kilometre-long coal seam
gas pipe in June last year that has an annual transportation
capacity of 3 billion cubic metres (bcm), the report said.
Gas explosion is the major cause for coal mine deaths in
China and the use of coal-bed methane gas by the world's largest
coal producer is still in its infancy.
China pumped 5.3 bcm of the gas in 2008 but used only 1.6
bcm, with the rest being pumped into air to avoid build-ups that
could set off explosions in coal mines.
China's West-to-East pipeline, with maximum capacity of 17
bcm per year, ships natural gas from northwestern Xinjiang to
eastern regions including Shanghai.
(Reporting by Jim Bai and Tom Miles, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)