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China Increases Oil Output, Attracts US Attention, Boosts Energy Supply

Energy survey shows there is a great potential for China to lift up its energy supply in the upcoming years

China's oil production will stay at 180 to 200 million tons per year for a relatively long period of time, a Chinese senior energy official said Tuesday at an ongoing seminar on China-US relations in Beijing.

China's increasing oil demand has attracted bigger attention from the United States. Some have attributed the world price hike of oil to China's broader endeavors to explore foreign oil market.

Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said, "China has set a strategy to economize energy use, increase energy efficiency, mainly depend on domestic supply and explore the overseas market."

According to official statistics, China imported 117 million tons of crude oil in 2004, accounting for 6.31% of the global oil trade, only slightly more than half of Japan's and less than one quarter of US oil imports.

Zhang said China now ranks the second largest energy producer and the fifth largest crude oil producer in the world. In 2004, its domestic production of crude oil totaled 175 million tons. The figure is expected to reach 180 million tons this year.

Zhang said China's efforts will be based on science and innovation due to environmental concerns.

Energy survey shows there is a great potential for China to lift up its energy supply in the upcoming years thanks to possiblefuture discoveries of coal, oil or gas fields, and further exploitation of other energies.