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No Oil Import for Stockpile When Price Remains High

China will not import crude oil to fill its reserve when the oil price remains high, a senior government official said in Beijing Tuesday.

It would be a great risk for China to buy oil from the international market for its strategic reserve program as the current global oil price has been fluctuating at a high level, said Zhang Guobao, deputy director the State Development and Reform Commission at a press conference of the Information Office of the State Council.

China has started to formulate plans for a state oil reserve and construction of some oil reserve facilities are under way. Zhang said that governemnt will study other ways to gradually increase the state oil reserve.

The country is expected to produce 180 million tons of crude oil in 2005, becoming the fifth largest crude oil produce. Last year, China produced 175 million tons of crude oil and imported 117 million tons.

China's oil import accounted for 6.31 percent of the world total, 23 percent of that of the United States and 56 percent of that of Japan, he said.

According to the official, China's energy production can feed 94 percent of its demand, while import is resorted to for the remaining 6 percent.

This means China's energy self-sufficiency rate is over 20 percent higher than the average of countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said Zhang.

China's per capita primary energy consumption is 1.08 tons of oil equivalent, 66 percent of the world average and 13.4 percent of the United States, Zhang said.

In 2004, China's primary energy production amounted to 1.845 billion tons of coal equivalent (TCE) and total energy consumption reached 1.97 billion TCE, which made the country the second largest energy producer and consumer in the world.

China also exported 80 million tons of coal in 2004, and its coking coal export accounted for 56 percent of the world trade.

(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2005)

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