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Major discovery increases oil reserve

Updated: 2007-05-03 21:10
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China's newly found oilfield in Bohai Bay has a reserve of one billion tons, or about 7.35 billion barrels, the largest discovery in the country over four decades, announced the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Thursday.

The oilfield lies in the Nanpu block of the CNPC's Jidong Oilfield in Caofeidian in Tangshan City, north China's Hebei Province, said the company.

The Nanpu block, partly offshore, covers an area of 1,300-1,500 square kilometers and is expected to produce light crude.

By 2004, the CNPC had discovered five onshore oil fields in the Jidong area with a total reserve of 735 million barrels and an annual output of 7.35 million barrels.

The company previously estimated that the reserve of the new oilfield was 2.2 billion barrels and the daily output would be 200,800 barrels in three years.

PetroChina, the CNPC's holding company, boasted Asia's highest profitability last year with 142.2 billion yuan (18.5 billion U.S. dollars) in annual net profit.

China's oil dependency, or net oil imports against oil consumption, went up 4.1 percentage points year on year to 47 percent in 2006, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Last year, the nation produced 183.68 million tons of crude oil, up 1.7 percent, and imported 138.84 million tons, up 16.9 percent. Its oil consumption (crude plus oil products) amounted to 346.55 million tons, up 9.3 percent.

It is predicted that China's crude oil imports will reach 160 million tons.