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China stockpiles natural gas on painful memory of shortage

Reserves boosted to 16% from 6% of consumption

An LNG tanker berths at a port in Nantong, Jiangsu Province. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. is expected to step up investment in LNG terminals and underground storage facilities.   © Reuters

CHONGQING -- China will expand its natural gas reserves to prevent a repeat of last winter's crippling shortage that froze the nation's economy.

The National Development and Reform Commission, which guides national energy policy, announced on Friday a goal of boosting reserves to the equivalent of 16% of domestic consumption in 2020, up from below 6% today. The move could push up prices for liquefied natural gas worldwide, analysts say.

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