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Project to assess energy reserves
( 2003-12-02 00:18) (China Daily)

A nationwide project is being launched to assess the potential capacity of China's oil and natural gas resources, a senior official from the Ministry of Land and Resources said Monday.

Land and Resources Minister Sun Wensheng said the project is aimed at gauging the country's oil and natural gas reserves and establishing a national database on them.

More importantly, it will provide a scientific basis for determining the national strategy for future economic development, the minister said.

Sun made the remarks Monday at a conference on Assessment of National Oil and Natural Gas Resources in Beijing.

The project, targeting more than 400 major sources of oil and natural resources, will be jointly organized by the Ministry of Land and Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission.

It will be carried out by the country's four conglomerates: China National Petroleum Corporation, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, China National Offshore Corp and China United Coalbed Methane Co. Ltd. They will co-ordinate their efforts with researchers from universities and academies.

Sun said the central government attaches the same importance to oil and natural gas resources as grain and water in the sustainable development of society.

In a written document outlining approval of the project, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said oil and natural gas are strategic resources in relation to the development of the national economy and national security.

He expressed hope the project will be conducted on a scientific basis so that it provides a solid foundation for the country's long-term strategy on energy development.

In the 1980s and 1990s China's oil conglomerates organized assessments on oil and natural gas resources, which measured the total volume of resources including historical accumulated yields,verified deposits and the potential capacity.

Compared with the previous assessments, this new project will emphasize exploitable resources while counting the total geological reserve.

With the rapid development of the economy China has become increasingly dependent on imported crude oil, said Zhang Guobao,vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Last year China ranked seventh in the world in oil imports with a total volume of 71.86 million tons, said Zhang.

Sun Shu, a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences described the project as "very important.''

"The development of new energy can partially alleviate the pressure upon oil and natural gas, but it is unrealistic to replace traditional energy resources,'' said Sun, who is also chief director of the project.

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