Institutional Dynamics of Energy Transition in China: The Case of Pipe China and gas Sector Reform
In 2019, the Chinese government announced the establishment of PipeChina, the national pipeline company entity that is expected to manage most of the country’s pipeline infrastructure to increase competition and avoid monopoly pricing in the strategically important gas pipeline network. This new energy giant will be controlled by China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Sinopec and CNOOC, and overseen by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The consolidation in the context of PipeChina comes against the background of the liberalisation in the downstream and upstream gas sector. In this study, we analyse how the creation of PipeChina will (i) impact the balance of power between private and state-owned firms, (ii) influence the competition of LNG versus pipeline imports, and (iii) impact spot LNG versus term contract purchases, to fully understand the impact of Chinese gas sector reform on the energy economics in China and abroad.