(EnergyAsia, June 10 2014, Tuesday) — Central Asia is increasing efforts to export natural gas to China, with four fully operating pipelines expected to nearly triple delivery to 80 billion cubic metres per year by 2020.

Two pipelines, A and B, are currently delivering a total of 30 bcm/year from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, while line C, which started up last month, is expected to reach operating capacity of 25 bcm/year by end-2015, enabling the region to export up to 55 bcm to China.

Construction of Line D through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is expected to start later this year.

The expected 50 bcm/year increase in Central Asian gas sales to China over the next six years will dwarf the much reported 38 bcm/year deal that Russia’s Gazprom agreed last month to supply China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) from 2018.

Turkmenistan will be the biggest winner as it is expected to almost double its natural gas exports to China with the full operation of the third Central Asia pipeline link by end-2015.

CNPC, which operates the line in China, said the 1,830km Line C, which has an annual transmission capacity of 25 bcm, began delivering natural gas from Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan on May 31. Running alongside lines A and B, which began operating in 2009 and 2010 respectively, Line C starts at Gedaim on the Turkmen-Uzbek border and flows through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

It ends at Khorgos in China’s Xinjiang province where it will be connected to  the Third West-East gas pipeline that CNPC is constructing.

When fully operational, the three lines will supply as much as 20% of China’s natural gas consumption.

Turkmenistan, which began supplying natural gas to China in 2009, has agreed to raise exports to 65 bcm/year by 2016. Some of the new supplies will come from its Galkynysh or South Yolotan gas field which will be jointly developed by Turkmenistan’s state-owned Turkmengaz and CNPC.

Uzbekneftegaz, the state-owned firm of Uzbekistan, has been supplying 10 bcm/year to CNPC since 2010.

China has more than 55,000 km of oil and gas pipelines

China, India and Australia together own nearly 60% of Asia’s active oil and gas pipelines, according to a new report by ASDReports.

China owns a network of 55,564 km to account for 27.5% of Asia’s total oil and gas pipeline while India has the region’s second longest network of 36,423 km followed by Australia with 27,144 km.

Of the 125 oil and gas pipelines to be built by 2020, 99 measuring a total length of 48,251 km will carry gas.