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ENERGY TECH
China to increase oil, gas exploration

A report released by oil giant BP last week shows that China imported 54 percent of its oil and 13 percent of its gas in 2010. BP predicts China's dependency on imports to soar to 80 percent for oil and 40 percent for gas by 2030. That compares with 10 years ago when China was importing 25 percent of its oil and no natural gas.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Jan 24, 2011
China will spend an average of $74.6 million annually on oil and gas exploration over the next 20 years to keep up with the country's growing reliance on imported energy, a Chinese official said.

Of the $74.6 million annual tab, $30.4 million would be for exploring land resources and the rest for offshore, said Zhong Ziran, deputy director of the China Geological Survey, China Daily newspaper reports.

China needs a breakthrough in finding new resources to keep up with surging demand, Chen Renyi, director of the CGS's department of mineral resources assessment, told China Daily.

"The key objective of our current work is to detect new promising areas that contain oil and gas to ease our surging demand for energy," Chen said.

Domestically, CGS has discovered 38 oil basins since 1999, mostly in the northern part of the South China Sea and the southern part of the Yellow Sea.

The Chinese government's commitment of $74.6 million for annual exploration compares with an annual average of $7.6 million spent on searching for energy resources from 1999 to 2010, CGS data show.

Nevertheless, Chen indicated that the government's commitment falls short, compared to the $4.5 billion spent by Chinese oil and gas companies for exploration.

Still, imports continue to account for a larger share of China's energy needs.

A report released by oil giant BP last week shows that China imported 54 percent of its oil and 13 percent of its gas in 2010. BP predicts China's dependency on imports to soar to 80 percent for oil and 40 percent for gas by 2030. That compares with 10 years ago when China was importing 25 percent of its oil and no natural gas.

"The scale of China's energy requirements is such that it has an impact on global energy markets and prices. Energy prices (or supplies) could indeed become a temporary constraint on growth," states the BP Energy Outlook report.

In China's quest for energy resources, overseas mergers and acquisitions totaled $30 billion in 2010, accounting for 20 percent of the global total, China National Petroleum Corp. said in a report, also released last week. Canada and South America accounted for 80 percent of the Chinese deals.

A July report from the International Energy Agency shows that China's energy consumption surpassed the United States by 9.4 percent in 2009 at 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent, compared with the United States at 2.17 billion tons.



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