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Major Discovery Increases Oil Reserve
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The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said yesterday that it has discovered an oilfield with a reserve of 1 billion tons off the beaches of the Bohai Sea, which is one of the most significant breakthroughs in oil exploration in the past 40 years.


The Jidong Nanbao Oilfield, in the Caofeidian Port of Tangshan in north China's Hebei Province, is of high quality and efficiency, CNPC said.


Jia Chengzao, an academic and oil geologist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, projected that new discoveries will be made in the area around the Bohai Sea following the Jidong Nanbao Oilfield, which will lead to a rapid growth of CNPC's oil production in the future.


China is one of the world's major oil producers, with a total output of 183.68 million tons last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.


In another development, a senior official said yesterday that China would seek to satisfy its energy needs using domestic resources.


Addressing the 2nd Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Chen Deming, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday that China has a huge potential to exploit its abundant domestic energy resources.


"China is not only a major energy consumer, but also a giant energy producer," said Chen, who is head of the Chinese delegation.


He said the country has abundant coal reserves and bright prospects to develop hydroelectricity, wind power, solar energy and bioenergy.


It also has the potential to increase its oil production and its exploration for natural gas, he added.


Chen dismissed claims that the country had been a major factor in the increasing global oil price, although it did need to import a certain amount of oil and natural gas to supplement its energy supplies.


The unstable regional situation, fund speculation and natural disasters are the main factors behind the abnormal rise of the oil price, he explained.


(China Daily May 4, 2007)

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