China’s proven oil reserves amount at 6.5 bn tons

Jul 06, 2004 02:00 AM

Energy-hungry China had proven oil reserves -- crude oil classified as practical to extract -- totalling 6.5 bn tons at the end of 2003, the Ministry of Land and Resources said. This amounts to 43 % of China’s estimated total recoverable reserves.
The ministry published the figures on its website citing statistics provided by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), and said the level of reserves could provide for steady output growth over the next 20 years.

The estimate is double the level estimated by British oil giant BP, which put China’s end-2003 proven reserves at 3.2 bn tons -- sustainable for exploitation for 19.1 years. No one at Sinopec was available for comment on the differences with BP’s estimate but such figures are known to vary widely due to differing methods and assumptions.
China has overtaken Japan as the second largest oil consumer in the world. It is also the fifth biggest producer. Its oil consumption was 252.3 mm tons last year and the figure is expected to reach 308 mm tons this year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

China imported 91.13 mm tons of crude last year, up 31.3 % over 2002, with imports expected to rise 10 % to 100 mm tons this year. Rising demand for crude has made energy security a critical issue for China which has started building four oil reserve facilities in the eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Shandong and Liaoning -- capable of holding 30 days of supplies.
An industry official earlier said that China aims to meet the 90-day supply standard set by the IEA by 2015 by building more oil reserve facilities over the next few years.

Source: The News International, Pakistan
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