12m barrels of oil added to reserves in '10

Updated: 2011-01-21 13:26


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BEIJING - China added 12 million barrels of crude to its strategic petroleum reserve over the course of last year, according to Reuters calculations based on figures issued on Thursday by the country's leading oil firm.

The figure amounts to about 0.7 percent of China's total crude oil imports of 239 million tons (1.7447 billion barrels) over the period.

A report issued by the China National Petroleum Corp's research unit showed that China's total storage capacity reached 24.38 million tons by the end of 2010, suggesting that 76 million barrels of the project's second phase has now been built.

The report, released during an annual briefing, said 19 million barrels of second-phase capacity had been filled since 2008, leaving 57 million barrels still empty by the end of 2010.

The report said available space in China's SPR stood at 69 million tons at the beginning of 2010, suggesting that 12 million barrels were added over the course of the year.

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China, alarmed by its growing dependence on imports, began building its strategic petroleum reserve in 2005. The first phase was finally completed in early 2009, with a total capacity of 102 million barrels.

The second phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by early 2012 and total reserve capacity will reach 500 million barrels when the third phase is finally completed in 2020.

The report said that Chinese domestic crude output was likely to rise 2.5 percent this year to 207 million tons.

China has made efforts to boost domestic crude output by employing enhanced recovery technologies in its aging oilfields and by stepping up exploration offshore and in the remote northwest.

However, exploration has failed to keep up with demand.

The CNPC report predicted that China's total crude oil imports could exceed 400 million tons by 2020, up from 239 million tons in 2010.


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