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China starts work on Guangdong strategic oil reserves

Updated: 2010-03-08 14:45
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China has started "preliminary work" on the second phase of the nation's emergency oil reserves in Guangdong to help bolster energy security and meet demand, the head of the province's economic planning agency said.

Construction of storage bases in the cities of Zhanjiang and Huizhou will begin "as soon as possible," Li Miaojuan, director of Guangdong's development and reform commission, said after attending a parliamentary meeting in Beijing today. "Everything is progressing as planned."

The world's second-largest energy-consuming nation is embarking on a three-phase project to build emergency oil reserves as fuel demand rises. The government said last year it's planning to build the second phase of its reserves in the northeast and work on storage tanks in the western province of Xinjiang has commenced.

Li declined to comment on the scale of the storage tanks in Guangdong and their construction schedule.

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The first phase holds the equivalent of about 16.4 million cubic meters of oil, or about 30 days of net imports, China's energy administration said in June. The stockpiles are located in Zhenhai and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province, Dalian in Liaoning province and Huangdao in Shandong province.

China will build oil reserves equal to 100 days of net imports before 2020, China Petrochemical Corp, the nation's top refiner, said on Sept 23, citing a plan approved by the State Council, or Cabinet.

Chinese oil demand doubled in the last decade to 8 million barrels a day last year, with imports meeting 45 percent of requirements, BP Plc's Statistical Review shows. In 2009, overseas shipments accounted for more than half of the country's oil needs.

Crude oil imports may rise 15 percent this year as China starts building the second phase of its reserves, China Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals, the fortnightly newsletter published by the Xinhua News Agency, said in January.