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CNPC unit eyes more mainland gas projects

CNPC Hong Kong Ltd said it is in talks to acquire additional city-gas distribution projects in the Chinese mainland from parent China National Petroleum Corp, the country's largest producer of petroleum.

CNPC Hong Kong may purchase another project in the first quarter after completing the acquisition of a 97.26-percent stake in Xinjiang Xinjie Co, company Secretary Patrick Lau told Bloomberg News yesterday. China National's unit PetroChina Co has a 57-percent stake in CNPC Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong company is buying gas projects in the mainland to benefit from a government's target to double the use of the cleaner-burning fuel by next year. China's gas prices may rise as authorities accelerate plans to change the formula used to set domestic costs of the fuel, Xinhua new agency said on Tuesday, citing Zhang Guobao, the head of the National Energy Administration.

"CNPC Hong Kong's acquisitions will benefit from potentially higher gas prices in China over the long term," Jin Yu, an analyst with China Merchants Securities Co, said yesterday.


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