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China Established New Oil Company

With demand for crude oil soaring as China's economy roars ahead at a growth rate of more than 9 percent annually...

China had set up a new oil company licensed to handle exploration, development and refining, officials and reports said Friday.

State-owned Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Co. was formed by merging 21 exploration and development companies and three refineries, state media reports said. The reports said the company would be China's fourth-largest oil company.

An official at the Shaanxi provincial department of the State-owned Assets Supervision Administration, the government agency in charge of state companies, confirmed that the company was launched recently.

With demand for crude oil soaring as China's economy roars ahead at a growth rate of more than 9 percent annually, China has stepped up efforts to locate and tap its domestic reserves. Shaanxi Yanchang is a major provincial refiner that is being joined with upstream producers in an attempt to build a competitive new company.