China’s Cold Snap May Strain Energy Supply, Hit Farms

A cold snap will hit China today and lower temperatures by as much as 16 degrees centigrade through the weekend, potentially straining the country’s energy supply and transportation and disrupting agricultural production.

The cold wave will be the most intense this autumn and will bring rain, snow and frost to the country’s northern and southeastern regions, the National Meteorological Center said on its website today. The spell of cold weather may persist until Oct. 26, according to the center.

China will likely have abnormally low temperatures this winter because of the La Nina pattern, the official Xinhua News Agency said in August. China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, will take “effective measures” to ensure stable fuel supplies this winter and in spring, the Beijing-based parent of PetroChina Co. said today on its website.

Snow may be expected in the western province of Xinjiang and in some northeastern areas, and measures must be taken to ensure adequate supplies of electricity, heat and natural gas, the meteorological center said.

The Beijing government may start up the city’s heating system, fueled by natural gas, earlier than normal this year because of the cold weather, the Beijing Times reported today. Gas demand in the Chinese capital may increase by more than 20 percent in 2010, the newspaper said.

China will start operating by the month-end a third pipeline to transport gas from fields in the northwestern province of Shaanxi to Beijing and the country’s eastern provinces, the Beijing Times also said, citing Hu Weiping, deputy director of the oil and gas department at the National Energy Administration.

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