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State Team Confirms Major Natural Gas Find

A new natural-gas field in Northeast China has proven reserves of 100 billion cubic meters - more than double this year's estimated production - Daqing Oilfield said yesterday after a State expert team verified the find.


Last month, Wang Yupu, president of Daqing Oilfield Co Ltd, said a preliminary probe showed that the gas field has reserves of at least 100 billion cubic meters.


The new gas field, named Qingshen, is located under Daqing oilfield in Heilongjiang Province, which produced 46.4 million tons of crude oil last year.


It would be the country' fifth-biggest gas field after the Tarim, Qaidam, Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia and Sichuan basins, according to industry experts.


"The discovery is of strategic importance to PetroChina's long-term development blueprint of 'stabilizing output in the east while stepping up development in the west,'" Daqing Oilfield, a PetroChina subsidiary, said in a report.


"The find will add to the energy potential of Daqing, whose oil reserves are on the decline," said Gong Jinshuang, a senior oil and gas analyst with the research arm of PetroChina's parent company, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).


Bi Jianguo, spokesman for Hong Kong-listed PetroChina, would not comment on the find.


The State expert team, set up by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), consisted of eight senior oil and gas experts from the country's three top oil producers: PetroChina, Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC).


Industry analysts said the finding would boost PetroChina's shares "to some extent."


But there would not be big fluctuation "because it will take years to turn new reserves into oil and gas output," said Hou Jixiong, a senior oil and gas analyst with Guotai Jun'an Securities Co Ltd.


According to the latest assessment, China has much more reserves than previously projected, said Che Changbo, deputy-director of the MLR's Oil and Gas Resources Strategic Research Center.


China is expected to produce 180 million tons of crude oil and 48 billion cubic meters of natural gas this year. "The country will rely on domestic supplies for most of its energy demand," Che said.


(China Daily December 15, 2005)


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