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Search for oil, gas set for faster expansion

By Zhou Yan (China Daily)

10:39, February 24, 2012

Oilfield workers in Panjin, Northeast China's Liaoning province. China will speed up oil and natural gas exploration to fuel economic growth and reduce dependence on imported oil. (Photo/ China Daily)

Country spent 120b yuan to explore for ore and fuel deposits during 2011

BEIJING - China plans to accelerate geological exploration and survey work for oil and natural gas to ease its rising reliance on energy imports, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Thursday.

The ministry is drawing up strategies to achieve breakthroughs in exploration, energy efficiency and replacements for oil and gas, with the ultimate goal of cutting China's expanding dependency on foreign oil and guaranteeing energy security, said Xia Jun, the ministry's deputy counsel

In 2011, China's new proven geological reserves of oil and gas reached 1.37 billion tons, the highest since the Daqing Oilfield - China's biggest - was discovered in the 1960s, according to Wang Changbo, deputy director of the ministry's department of mineral resources reserves.

New proven reserves totaled 5.74 billion tons during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).

Wang said total new reserves during the current five-year plan, which began last year, would likely continue to grow, without giving specific figures.

China's crude oil demand rose 2.7 percent in 2011, while natural gas use rose 12 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which didn't give absolute volumes.

China National Petroleum Corp, the country's biggest oil producer, projected in February that China's apparent consumption of crude oil would reach 454 million tons in 2011, with 3.3 percent year-on-year growth.

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