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China to form national oil and gas pipeline company-state planner

China will create a national oil and gas pipeline company, the country’s state planner said on Tuesday in the first official acknowledgement of a reform that has been anticipated by the energy industry.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) did not give a timetable or any details of the plan in its annual work report published at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament.

Creating a central oil and gas operator will help China’s state-owned energy companies separate the cost of pipeline transportation from the sale of oil and gas.

Reuters reported last month that a formal plan for the pipeline group combining the long distance pipeline assets of the country’s state-owned energy companies will be announced this year.

The NDRC on Tuesday also repeated its goal of speeding up domestic oil and gas exploration.

By Reuters ll Reporting by Meng Meng and Dominique Patto ll Editing by Richard Pullin