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Xinjiang to Become Nation's Top Oil Base
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Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will top the country's energy grid, boasting robust reserves.

"(The) oil production and petrochemical sectors have become Xinjiang's pillar industries, with output from them accounting for more than 60 percent of the region's total industrial output," chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Ismail Tiliwaldi said on Friday at the fifth session of 10th National People's Congress.

According to Tiliwaldi, estimates for 2006 place crude oil production at 24.8 million tons and natural gas production at 16.1 billion cubic meters.

Over the next three years, China's top two energy giants CNPC and Sinopec will spare no efforts to double output from Xinjiang to 44 million tons of oil equivalent, sources from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said. The plan will enable Xinjiang to match Heilongjiang Province as China's top oil-production powerhouse.

"The target is feasible, based on the robust reserves in Xinjiang and the huge investment injected into it," Zhang Zhiguo, a press official with Beijing-based Sinopec, said. CNPC and Sinopec poured a total of 68.6 billion yuan into Xinjiang for oil and gas exploration and production from 2005 to 2006, the NDRC said.

China's top oil producer CNPC said the firm will make greater efforts to develop potential fields in Northwest China. "The bulk of our planned investment, however, will go to the oilfields in western China especially Xinjiang," Han Xuegong, a veteran consultant for CNPC, said.

(China Daily March 10, 2007)

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