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Xinjiang Set to Top China's Energy Grid

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China will become the country's major oil & gas production base by the end of 2020, according to a memo recently issued by the State Council.

The note stressed the importance of energy sources in local economic development, while encouraging companies to cooperate with businesses from neighboring countries to find mutually beneficial scenarios.

The local party chief Wang Lequan said Xinjiang will increase the rate of energy exploration in its three basins at Tarim, Junggar and Tuha, while enlarging the scale of oil and gas production.

He also expressed his hope that Xinjiang will form one of the most important petrochemical industrial clusters in the country as soon as possible.

Statistics show that the nation's two largest oil companies, China's National Petroleum Corporation and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, invested 68.6 billion yuan, or about US$9.1 billion, in Xinjiang over the past two years.

Xinjiang makes up more than one fourth of all of China's land-based oil and gas reserves. Last year, Xinjiang produced over 24 million tons of crude oil, ranking third in China, while the output of natural gas was first in the nation.

(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2007)

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