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More oil in store by 2015
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China is expected to stockpile 70 million cu m of refined oil by 2015, up from 52 million cu m at the end of last year, said industry insiders.

The country's two leading oil producers, PetroChina and Sinopec, are key to building these refined oil reserves, said Gong Manying, an executive with China Petroleum Planning and Engineering Institute. The two companies' stockpile will reach 40 million cu m by 2015, he said.

Refined oil reserves built by other domestic companies, including China's third largest oil company CNOOC, are expected to exceed 28 million cu m, said Gong.

China has seen a rapid increase in oil reserves construction in recent years, and the sector has witnessed a 9 percent increase in capacity annually from 2005 to 2008, said Gong.

Under a three-year (2009-11) blueprint outlined by the National Energy Administration, China will accelerate the construction of oil reserves to enhance energy security. The country will form 44.6 million cu m of crude oil reserves by 2011.

The blueprint has not disclosed how large the refined oil stockpile would be in 2011.

Analysts said the timing was just right to build more reserves of oil products such as gasoline and diesel, as market demand is benign and stockpiles of domestic refiners are relatively high.

"It can help stabilize domestic gasoline and diesel prices," said Lin Boqiang, professor, Xiamen University. The government can use the reserves to ease the pressure of domestic refiners whenever there is a big gap between domestic and international prices, he said.

Both PetroChina and Sinopec have quickened the pace of building refined oil reserves. Wang Tianpu, president of Sinopec Corp, earlier said the company was planning to build four refined oil stockpile bases in the country. The four bases will have a total capacity of 8 million tons.

China has now completed construction of the first four State strategic oil reserve bases, which are respectively in Zhenhai and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province, Huangdao in Shandong province, and Dalian in Liaoning province.

The four national oil reserve bases have all been fully filled with crude.

China will start building eight more national oil reserve bases, including one in Huangdao in Shandong and one in Jinzhou in Liaoning.

(China Daily June 16, 2009)

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