2004-01-20 10:18:02
Evaluation to improve gov't energy strategy

China will evaluate its oil and natural gas reserves in order to draw up an energy strategy to meet the challenges of growing oil imports and domestic energy demand.

"The aim of the evaluation is to gain precise information on the oil and natural gas reserves in the country, and to forecast the future demand of oil and gas," said Sun Wensheng, minister of Land and Resources, during a recent national meeting in Beijing.

He said the results of the evaluation will help the government map out major economic development strategies, and will guide the country's exploration of oil and natural gases.

The evaluation will be divided into three stages. Field evaluations will begin in April and will last one year.

Those evaluations will include reserves of traditional oil and gas, coal gas, oil sand and oil shale within China's land and sea territories.

China conducted two similar evaluations in the 1980s and 1990s, but this will be the first time such work will be organized by the central government.

It is also the first time the work will focus on how many such reserves can be extracted, figures of which are only estimates.

China has an estimated 13 billion to 16 billion tons of oil reserves, and between 10 trillion to 15 trillion cubic metres of natural gas.

"Formulating a macroeconomic policy based on estimated figures would produce negative results," Sun warned.

All departments concerned must work hard to obtain exact figures, Sun added.

China became a net oil importer in 1993. Since then, the nation's oil imports have risen rapidly.

Analysts estimate China will have to import up to 60 per cent of its oil by 2020.


(Business Weekly 01/20/2004 page2)

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