Africa accounts for 30% of China's oil imports
Updated: 2006-10-19 09:21
China imported 38.34 million tons of crude oil from Africa in 2005,
accounting for 30 percent of its oil imports, an official with the National
Reform and Development Commission (NRDC) said on Wednesday.
By the end
of 2005, China had invested in 27 major oil and natural gas projects in 14
African countries, including Sudan, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria, said Zhang
Yuqing, deputy head of the NRDC's energy department.
Speaking at a press
conference on the forthcoming Sino-African cooperation forum, Zhang said China's
investment in the energy sector had contributed to the economic development of
African countries, while its technical cooperation and training programs had
helped Africa train its own oil technicians.
Chinese firms have also
been actively involved in building roads, bridges, hospitals and other public
facilities, he said.
China's dynamic economic growth over the last two
decades has led to a surge in its oil demands.
Official figures show
that the country imported 126.82 million tons of crude oil in 2005. The imports
in the first eight months of 2006 reached 95.80 million tons, up 15.3 percent on
the previous year.
In 2005, Saudi Arabia was China's largest source of
crude oil, with imports totaling 22.18 million tons. It was followed by Angola's
17.46 million tons.
Four African countries, namely, Angola, Sudan, Congo
and Equatorial Guinea, were among the top 10 oil exporters to China in 2005.
Zhang said Chinese oil firms possess unique technologies in the
exploration and development of oil fields with complicated geological conditions
as well as in the development of old oil fields with depleted resources.
He said the government will encourage Chinese firms to expand their
cooperation with African countries in the energy sector.
Sino-African cooperation forum will hold its summit and ministerial conference
in Beijing between November 3 and 5. Chinese and African leaders are expected to
take part in the summit with a theme of "Friendship, peace, cooperation and
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