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China should adjust its petroleum reserve strategy
Updated: 2005-05-25 19:10

China should adjust its oil reserve strategy by increasing planned oil reserves and establishing hinterland bases for future oil storage, said Associate Professor Cai Rongsheng with the Chinese People's University in an article published in Wednesday's Economic Daily.

Due to China's rocketing oil demand and imports, the country has found it urgent to establish its own strategic oil reserve to safeguard its energy security, Cai said.

At the end of the 1990s, China expected its pure annual petroleum import to hit 100 million tons by 2010, so it planned to set up a 25-million-ton oil reserve equivalent to 90 days of crude oil imports. But in 2004 China's petroleum import reached 123 million tons, Cai said.

"China needs to adjust its strategic petroleum reserve target according to real practice," he said.

The United States' petroleum strategic reserve is equivalent to 158 days of crude oil imports, Japan 161 days and Germany 127 days, according to Cai, suggesting China's oil reserves be raised in accordance with its rapid economic development.

China has decided to establish four coastal bases for strategic oil reserves in Zhejiang and Shandong in east China and Liaoning in northeast China. Cai suggested more hinterland reserve bases should be built in central and northeast China's oil fields so as to prevent earthquakes and fires.

Cai also suggested that China pass special laws on petroleum reserve establishment, and encourage private companies to participate in petroleum reserve work.

China should take an energy-saving approach through developing high-tech industries to reduce reliance on oil imports, he said. In 2004, 45 percent of China's oil consumption depended on imports.

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