China plans to build four levels of crude oil reserves made up
of two parts - the government reserve and enterprise storage -
according to a source with the nation's largest oil company.
"The government reserve will be at two levels, a strategic crude
oil reserve base by the central government, and an oil reserve base
by local governments," an official with PetroChina, who declined to
be named, said.
"The enterprise storage will also be at two levels, commercial
oil reserve by the largest oil companies PetroChina, Sinopec and
CNOOC, and oil storage by the medium and small ones," he said.
The strategic oil reserve base by the central government and the
oil reserve by the nation's leading oil companies are under way,
and the other two levels are still in the preliminary stage, the
The country also plans to formulate some regulations for oil
reserves, he said.
"A sound oil reserve system will help ensure the nation's energy
security, in case there is an interruption in supplies or a hike in
oil prices," Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of
In some regions that are hungry for energy such as South China's
Guangdong Province, the local government has started to plan for
oil reserves, Han said.
China is now the world's third largest oil importer after the
United States and Japan and the world's second largest oil consumer
after the US. In the first half of this year imports of crude oil
rose 11.2 percent to 81.5 million tons, according to the General
Administration of Customs (GAC).
Last year, China imported 145 million tons of crude oil and 36.4
million tons of refined oil, spending $15.3 billion more than the
year before because of soaring oil prices in the global market, the
Analysts said China will use up to 350 million tons of oil this
year, 10 million tons more than last year.
Beginning in 2004. China started to build its strategic crude
oil reserve bases in three provinces. The first batch consisted of
four bases, two in Zhejiang, one in Shandong, and the other in
Last month, PetroChina started to build a commercial crude oil
reserve base in Liaoning. It plans to build another in the Xinjiang
Uygur Autonomous Region.
Other top oil companies, such as Sinopec and Sinochem, have also
started to build bases, a PetroChina official said.
(China Daily July 19, 2007)