China's CNOOC is Building the World's Largest LNG Storage Tanks

Illustration courtesy CNOOC

Published Feb 22, 2022 11:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) is building the largest LNG storage tanks in the world at a newly-built receiving terminal in Yancheng, about 150 nm to the north of Shanghai. 

CNOOC is the biggest LNG importer in China, and the new site at Yancheng will cement its status. It will have six gigantic tanks, each with 270,000 cubic meters of storage capacity - enough to hold the contents of one Qatari Q-Max LNG carrier. The site also has four smaller tanks, and the combined receiving capacity will be in the range of nine million tonnes per annum (mtpa). CNOOC is already scoping out the possibility of adding another 10 of the larger tanks, which would effectively double the size of the plant. 

In December, CNOOC signed a deal with U.S.-based exporter Venture Global LNG to buy 3.5 mtpa of LNG from Venture's new Plaquemines and Calcasieu Pass terminals. It is the first long-term sales and purchase agreement a U.S. LNG producer has signed with CNOOC. 

"As China's largest LNG importer, CNOOC is committed deeply not only to the mission of securing China's gas supply, but also to the climate goals of building a carbon-neutral China by 2060," said Shi Chenggang, Chairman of CNOOC Gas & Power, in a statement in December.

The state-owned energy company also holds a working interest in LNG production through a minority stake in the Woodside-operated North West Shelf project, located in Western Australia.

Last year, China became the largest importer of LNG in the world, surpassing longtime top buyer Japan. Its LNG purchasing volume continues to grow as the Chinese government pushes to replace coal with cleaner-burning natural gas. Wood Mackenzie predicts that China's demand for LNG will nearly double by 2030, reaching 110 mtpa, even as China's energy companies invest heavily in developing domestic gas fields.