China’s state-owned energy giants pledged to expand domestic oil and gas exploration and production, with a particular focus on natural gas supplies, following a call from President Xi Jinping to boost national energy security, Reuters reports.
China National Offshore Oil Co. said on Wednesday that it aims to boost domestic oil and gas proven reserves, including a 10-year plan to stabilize annual output at its top fields at Baohai Bay at 30 million tons.
The statement came a day after top energy group CNPC said one of its key tasks to ensure energy security was to fast-track investments in natural gas production and infrastructure including underground storage, the report said.
The moves came as China, the world’s top energy user and also largest crude oil importer, is facing declining reserves and soaring development costs at mature oilfields.
Rapid growth in natural gas demand has led to surges in imports which made up some 45 percent of total consumptions last year.
China is set to overtake Japan as the world’s top gas buyer next year, the report noted, citing an estimate by the International Energy Agency.
The state oil firms’ remarks also come as China is entangled in a tit-for-tat trade war with the US. Beijing has added both US crude oil and liquefied natural gas on its proposed retaliatory tariff list.
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