URUMQI, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A natural gas pipeline has started operation this month in Wushi County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, signifying the basic coverage of a pipeline network in southern Xinjiang.
"I'm so happy I don't have to use bottled gas anymore," said Aizimaiti Mamuti, a resident in Wushi. "It makes cooking much easier and cheaper. I only need to turn on the switch to light a fire and spend less than 0.7 yuan (about 0.1 U.S. dollars) a day on the fuel."
The construction of Wushi pipeline is part of a project to transport gas from Tarim Oilfield, one of China's largest natural gas producers, to southern Xinjiang, helping the region use local gas and ease gas shortages, especially in winter.
The project's main gas pipeline was put into operation in 2013, with a length of more than 3,000 km, benefiting over 4 million people in southern Xinjiang.
Thanks to the project, Tarim Oilfield now can send about 3.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year to almost all counties in southern Xinjiang, compared with 12 million cubic meters in 2010.