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PetroChina Studies Renewable Energy Pruduction

PetroChina Ltd. is studying the economic feasibility of diversifying into renewable energy production

PetroChina Ltd. is studying the economic feasibility of diversifying into renewable energy production and coal gasification, the company said, according to the Chinese newspaper.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper said PetroChina generates most of its sales from oil exploration and production, and its profits have been boosted by persistently high oil prices this year.

However, the company foresees growing demand for alternative fuels on the mainland, the paper said.

Several months ago, it set up a research unit to do preliminary studies on renewable energy forms like wind farms and solar energy, the paper said.

The source added that it might be feasible to have coal gasification plants near the company's oil fields since it has discovered some coal reserves while exploring for oil, the paper said.

According to the PetroChina source, the company is considering bringing the coal-bed methane business under the umbrella of its new research unit.