UPDATE 1-China's natural gas consumption to rise 10 pct on yr in 2018 - CNPC research


* Gas demand, import growth to drop, but remain in double digits

* 2018 oil demand growth at 4.6 pct, down from 5.9 pct in 2017 (Adds details, comment, changes slug from CHINA-CNPC/OIL-FORECAST)

BEIJING, Jan 16 (Reuters) - China's natural gas consumption will rise by 10 percent in 2018 to 258.7 billion cubic meters (bcm), China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) forecast on Tuesday, boosted by a steady push to replace coal with the cleaner fuel to curb air pollution.

CNPC also forecast in its annual outlook, released by the state oil giant's research institute, that China's total natural gas imports will grow by 13.4 percent from 2017 volumes to 105 billion cubic meters (bcm) this year.

While urban and industrial users will continue to drive the growth in use of natural gas, the pace of increase is expected to ease from last year's 17 percent, CNPC said.

The grow in gas imports is also down from a more robust 27 percent in 2017.

"Seasonal shortages will persist this year due to the coal-to-gas push and lagging constructions of storage ... but due to slower economic growth, demand from the steel, glass and ceramics industries will fall," CNPC said.

The world's third-largest gas consumer has been hit by a supply crunch this winter as the government's massive gasification effort led to demand surges that were too fast for the current state of supplies and infrastructure.

CNPC also said China's apparent oil demand will expand by 4.6 percent this year to 615 million tonnes, or 12.3 million barrels per day (bpd). That compares with oil demand growth of 5.9 percent for last year.

CNPC also said it expects refining capacity at the country's independent refineries to hit 230 million tonnes a year (4.6 million bpd) by 2020, accounting for just over a quarter of China's total installed oil processing volumes.

(1 tonne = 7.3 barrels for crude oil) (Reporting by Xu Muyu and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Tom Hogue)