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Oil resources in China

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Updated: 2008-03-14 09:07
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  China has announced a creation of a high-level body to integrate its energy management supervision and policies, functions that are currently dispersed among many government agencies.


   Below is basic information about oil resources in China.


   China's output of crude oil was 186.7 million tons last year, up 1.6 percent from 2006, while that of natural gas reached 69.31 billion cubic meters, up 23.1 percent, according to the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association.


   In 2007, China's imports of crude oil rose 12.4 percent to 160 million tons, according to China Customs figures.


   Sinopec and PetroChina, the country's leading oil producers, accounted for two thirds of the total imports.


   Last year, China refined 326.79 million tons of crude oil, up 6.4 percent from 2006. Output of refined products -- gasoline, diesel and kerosene -- was 195 million tons, up 7.2 percent.


   Deng Yusong, a research member of the Development Research Center of the State Council, predicted that China's oil consumption would continue to grow in 2008, with domestic crude oil output growth of 1-2 percent.


   Sinopec produced 291.67 million barrels of crude oil in 2007, up 2.27 percent from 2006. PetroChina, the country's largest oil producer, had an output of oil and natural gas of 828 million barrels of oil equivalent in the first three quarters of 2007, up 4.3 percent year-on-year.


   China raised domestic oil prices last November and asked state-owned oil giants to import oil and give orders to local refineries.


   Meanwhile, the government extended subsidies to refineries to cover the losses they incurred by selling oil at state-fixed prices. Government subsidies to Sinopec, the nation's largest oil refiner, reached 10 billion yuan in 2005 and 5 billion yuan in 2006. Sinopec reportedly received further subsidies in 2007.


   The situation highlighted the importance of the strategic oil reserve program, which started in 2004. The reserve program was designed to offset oil supply risk and reduce the impact of fluctuating energy prices worldwide on China's domestic market for refined oil. The first national oil reserve base under the program was filled as of early December.


   In 2007, China announced its biggest discovery of an oilfield in four decades, with reserves of 1 billion tons, or about 7.35 billion barrels.

 

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