Rapidly increasing natural gas demand led to a surge in imports to China last year. Total consumption of natural gas last year rose 13.9 percent with total consumption hitting 167.6 billion cubic meters, according to a report by CNPC Economic and Technology Research Institute. The greater consumption led to a 25 percent increase in imports, totalling 53 billion cubic meters last year, 31.6 percent of total consumption. Smog has pushed many regions to use more natural gas instead of coal, which has helped push up demand. Supplies will continue to be tight this year. The report predicted natural gas consumption will expand 11 percent this year to 186 cubic meters.