China and the United States, two of the world's largest
consumers of oil, have agreed to cooperate on the use of their
strategic petroleum reserves on Thursday.
"The U.S. and China agreed to strengthen cooperation on
construction and management of strategic oil stocks," said the
statement from the U.S. at the conclusion of the third China-U.S.
Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing.
"Coordinated use of strategic petroleum reserves increases
energy security for net oil-importing countries during times of
significant supply disruption," the statement said.
Imports accounted for 66 percent of U.S. domestic petroleum use
last year. The figure for China, which became a net importer of oil
during the 1990s as its economy took off, was 47 percent.
The announcement came as world crude prices remained near recent
highs. U.S. crude-oil futures surged to 94 U.S. dollars per barrel
on Wednesday in New York, the highest level in about two weeks,
after news of a fall in U.S. crude oil inventories.
The U.S. strategic petroleum reserve currently holds about 6.93
million barrels of crude oil.
China's strategic oil reserve stood at two to three million
tons, and would be expanded to about 12 million tons by 2010, said
then Vice Minister of the National Development and Reform
Commission Chen Deming in September.
China started construction of four strategic oil reserve bases
with a combined capacity of 14 million tons along coastal regions
in 2003. It began filling three of them last year, and is expected
to start filling the fourth in Dalian, northeast China, at the end
of this year.
The two countries also agreed to join in addressing challenges
of environmental sustainability and climate change, and vowed to
boost cooperation over a ten-year period, according to the U.S.
The U.S. would provide technical assistance to China's
nationwide program of sulfur dioxide emission trading in the power
sector, as well as help China develop low sulfur fuels for
vehicles, in a bid to cut sulfur dioxide emissions for the benefit
of the global environment.
Both sides agreed to "reduce or eliminate tariffs and non-tariff
barriers to environmental goods and services" in face of
environmental challenges, and said they would meet in early 2008 to
discuss the issue.
In order to enhance energy sufficiency and lower both countries'
carbon emissions, the two countries signed a memorandum of
understanding on cooperation in development of biofuels.
Minister of China's National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC) Ma Kai has called for stronger cooperation of
the two countries in joint energy development, especially in
improving coal efficiency and promoting clean energy, ahead of the
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2007)