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19

China Creates National Petroleum Reserve Center

The country is expected to increase the oil reserves of 12 million tons...

The operational draft for a new national petroleum reserve center has been submitted to the central government of, the Xinhua-run China Securities Journal reported on Thursday.

Operations will follow those of the China Grain Reserves Corporation and China Cotton Reserves Corporation, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told the newspaper.

The China Grain Reserves Corporation and China Cotton Reserves Corporation, which have both been operating for more than ten years, are entrusted by the State Council to manage national grain and cotton reserves, while retaining responsibility for their own profits and losses.

But when the national petroleum reserve center is up and running, it will take over the established national strategic oil reserve bases and manage oil assets worth tens of billions of U.S. dollars, the newspaper said.

China started to build national oil reserve bases in 2004. The first four bases are in Zhenhai and Daishan of Zhejiang Province, Huangdao in east China's Shandong Province, and Dalian in the northeastern Liaoning Province.

The bases are included in the government's social and economic development plan for the 2006-2010 period.

Ma Kai, NDRC minister and director of the newly-built National Energy Office, said the first four petroleum bases will be completed this year, with a total storage capacity of between 10 million and 12 million tons.

The country is expected to increase the oil reserves of 12 million tons in the first phase, and 28 million tons of petroleum in the second and third phase respectively.

Compared with its huge imports, China's strategic oil reserves are quite small. The petroleum amount reserved by the China National Petroleum Corporation and the China National Petrochemical Corp., two major oil giants in China, is only equal to 21 days of China's crude oil imports.

Figures show the United States' petroleum strategic reserve is equivalent to 158 days of crude oil imports, Japan 161 days and Germany 117 days.