China is to maintain a strategic oil reserve amounting to the equivalent of 30 days of imports by the year 2010, a senior official said Saturday.
Chen Deming, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), made the remarks at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2007 held in Boao, a coastal town in southernmost Hainan Province.
At a symposium on energy and resources, Chen Deming said that China should establish certain amount of strategic oil reserve to hedge risks such as supply interruption.
China's plan for its strategic oil reserve capacity is based on two factors, one is the country's financial power, the other is conditions of the world market.
As the international oil price is still at a high level, China will be prudent in building up its strategic oil reserve and try not to cause sharp fluctuation in oil price, he said.
According to the vice minister, a regulation on oil reserve is under constitution.
Chen disclosed that the regulation will require the Chinese government to build up certain scale of strategic oil reserves and oil enterprises to establish commercial oil reserves at reasonable scale.
The regulation will also set the rules for selecting the sites for strategic oil reserve bases. These sites should be convenient for oil transportation and adjacent to oil refineries, he said.
The establishment of strategic oil reserve should also comply with the country's land use and environmental protection policies, he said.
China has decided to establish four strategic oil reserve bases in Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo and Zhoushan, respectively. The first one in Ningbo of east China's Zhejiang Province has started to be fed with oil, according to the NDRC.
According to Chen, China consumed 2.4 billion tons of coal equivalent in 2006, with over 90 percent self-supplied.
(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2007)