China is adopting new methods to calculate and register its verified oil and natural gas reserves.
On Thursday, Vice Minister of Land and Resources (MLR) Wang Min announced that the new national standard will be based on the Classification of Resources and Reserves of Oil and Natural Gas which began to be used on October 1.
He said that increased accuracy will facilitate the rational use and protection of reserves.
A group has been established to direct the work, which includes members of MLR and three state-owned oil companies, he said. Calculations will be completed by the middle of 2006.
China's booming economy is being affected by energy shortages, including oil. Experts predict that oil imports will jump by nearly 10 percent this year to 100 million tons, accounting for 40 percent of the total consumed.
To ease shortages, the government stepped up prospecting and extraction of domestic oil and natural gas resources.
Last year alone, 22.7 billion yuan (about US$2.7billion) was spent on prospecting, up 20.55 percent on the previous year.
According to official figures, China has 106.9 billion tons of oil reserves and 53 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves.
However, it is estimated that workable oil deposits are between 13 billion tons and 16 billion tons, while that of natural gas are 10 to 15 trillion cubic meters.
(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2004)