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China to control its reliance on oil imports
Updated: 2005-04-23 11:00

With looming challenges in energy resource management, China will lower its reliance on oil imports to around 35 percent by 2020, and seek to maintain it at that level, said Wang Tao, senior vice-president of the World Petroleum Congress (WPC), in Boao, South China's Hainan Province Friday.

A large petroleum consumer, China faces serious challenges in energy resource management as its economy has been growing at an average rate of 9 percent in the past 20 years.

Energy supplies, especially oil supply, cannot meet the demand of the soaring economy, said Wang, at a roundtable meeting, part of the Annual Conference 2005 of Boao Forum for Asia.

Last year, China's oil output reached 174 million tons, ranking fifth in the world. However, in the same year about 40 percent of China's oil supply was from imports.

Due to its large population, China's average resources per capita are much lower than the world average level. The average storage of coal per capita is only 79 percent of the world average, oil 11 percent and natural gas 4.5 percent, said Wang, also director of the Chinese National Committee under the WPC.

The latest evaluation results show that China's petroleum storage is 61.9 billion tons and only 23.4 billion tons, or 37.8 percent, have been discovered. Potentials lie in western regions and marine areas, where the percentage of oil fields being discovered is 21.5 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively.

Despite of its bad effects, the price hike in the international oil market could help China to collect more money and improve oil field exploration, said Wang.

Meanwhile, China could also enhance exploration efficiency of oil field by adopting advanced technologies, he said.

Wang predicted that China's oil output would keep rising and the oil and gas production would reach a peak period by 2020.

On the other hand, China is taking an energy-saving approach to development to ease its energy pressures. Wang suggested that detailed policies and regulations should be made to save energy in economic growth.

In the next 15 years, China is likely to quadruple its national economy while its energy consumption will only double, Wang said.

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