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UPDATE 1-China plans to create national natgas pipeline company - sources

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BEIJING, Sept 26 (Reuters) - China's state economic planner has revived a plan to create a national natural gas pipeline company, aiming to provide gas producers with better access to infrastructure to help increase take-up of the cleaner-burning fuel, two senior officials said.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is working with state oil companies including China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Sinopec Group on the proposal, the two officials familiar with the plan said.

The talks include what assets would be included in the company and how it will be run, they said.

The plan, first raised about five years ago, is part of Beijing's proposed reforms to make the state-dominated oil and gas sector more efficient and follows a string of smaller steps over the past two years, including cutting down transportation costs and encouraging investment in gas storage. "The NDRC is engaging a small group of company people to design a plan for creating the national pipeline company," said one of the sources.

The NDRC did not immediate respond to request for comment. The two sources declined to be named as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The proposed national pipeline company is expected to oversee China's trunk line projects such as the West-to-East pipelines operated by CNPC and Sinopec's project linking gas fields in the southwestern province of Sichuan to the east coast.

China is the world's third-largest gas consumer after the United States and Russia, with imports of the fuel making up about a third of consumption.

The world's top energy user aims to boost the use of natural gas, which emits half of the greenhouse gases produced by that burning coal produces, to about 15 percent of the total energy share by 2030 from just under 6 percent currently.

The NDRC said earlier this year it expects the country's gas pipelines to total 104,000 kms (64,600 miles) by 2020, up from 64,000 kms at the end of 2015. CNPC currently operates nearly 80 percent of China's gas pipelines, according to its website.


(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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