China's biggest onshore oil field near 'exhaustion'
China's largest onshore oil field, Daqing Oil Field, faces ``imminent exhaustion'' of its exploitable reserves, local authorities said Wednesday.
The oil field, in Northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province, will cut its crude oil output by an annual 7 percent for the next seven years, said Daqing Mayor Ge Ruyin.
Production last year fell below 50 million tons (55.1 short tons) for the first time in 27 years, and may drop to 30 million tons by 2010 and 10 million tons by 2020, Ge added.
Before 2003, the yearly crude oil output of the petroleum giant, which contributes some one-third of the country's oil, had remained above 50 million tons for 27 years since it was put into production in 1960.
Daqing Oil Field boasted 2.2 billion tons of exploitable oil reserve and currently only 500 million tons remain untouched.
Managers of the oil field are reducing production in hopes that new drilling technology will be developed to allow full exploitation of its remaining 500 million tons of oil reserves.
Exploration along Heilongjiang's border with Russia is also being conducted in hopes of finding new reserves, Ge said.
According to a report released by the Ministry of Commerce, consumption of crude oil will reach 270 million tons this year.
annual crude oil imports will exceed 100 million tons this year, it added.
China's oil market will keep booming and the supply will meet demand on the whole, said the report.
China's need for oil soared by 11.4 percent year on year in 2003, making it the world's second largest oil importer, following the United States.
The average price of oil and oil goods also surged by 11.8 percent in Chinese market last year.