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US Invests US$5 Bln in China's Oil, Gas Exploration Projects

A senior Chinese official said on Monday that US enterprises have already invested US$5 billion in China's ongoing oil and gas exploration projects.


Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Zhang Guobao told the 7th Sino-US Oil and Gas Industry Forum in Hangzhou that there were currently 20 Sino-US joint oil and gas exploration projects in China.


"China has a positive and open attitude toward US enterprises involved in oil and gas exploration," said Zhang. "This means a win-win situation for Chinese and US companies who cooperate on oil and gas projects based on the principle of mutual benefit, he noted.


NDRC data showed that the crude oil output of China's offshore oil projects, in which US oil companies are taking part, reached 15.53 million tons in 2005, accounting for 56 percent of the total output of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), the country's offshore oil and gas giant.


Jeffery Jarrett, US Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, who is here attending the two-day forum, urged Chinese and U.S. oil companies to seek more cooperative opportunities to cope with the challenges created by the global energy shortage problem.


International cooperation is the best solution to the problem, the US official held.


Zhang said China would strengthen cooperation with multinational corporations, including those from the United States, in global oil and gas exploration based on win-win and mutual benefit principles and international conventions.


Meanwhile, he said China is striving to diversify oil supply sources and implement a strategic oil reserve plan in order to ensure oil supply security.


The official did not elaborate on the subject, saying only that China consumed 317 million tons of oil in 2005. The country's net oil imports stood at 136 million tons in 2005, down 5.3 percent from 2004.


Zhang predicted that China's oil imports will increase due to the rapid growth of the economy, which reached 11.3 percent in the second quarter of this year.


China is "actively" trying to develop new and replaceable energy resources and to optimize the energy production and consumption structure. This will help reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, which hit 42.9 percent last year, he said.


The forum, which kicked off Monday, is a public partnership that involves governments and industry representatives from the United States and China.


(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)

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