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China Looks To Boost Oil Exploration, Expand Oil & Gas Storage

China plans to further increase oil and gas exploration and accelerate the construction of more oil and gas storage infrastructure, state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Last week, China’s Communist Party adopted the principles of the five-year development plan 2021-2025.

China will also aim to build more oil and gas pipelines, according to its authorities.

China has been looking to increase its energy security in recent years, including by increasing domestic oil and gas production and expanding its storage facilities.

Over the past decade, China’s oil production has been falling while its oil demand has been soaring, increasing Beijing’s dependence on sourcing oil from abroad.

China’s dependence on crude oil imports has been growing in recent years as its domestic production has faltered, and the world’s top oil importer covered 73.4 percent of its oil demand with imported oil in the first half of 2020.

In the first half of 2020, China’s crude oil production did increase, by 1.7 percent year on year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China. The growth in production between January and June, however, was 0.7 percentage point slower than that of the first quarter, the bureau said.

Higher domestic production, however, will not be able to cover the rise in China’s oil and gas demand, so China will continue to be a key player on the global oil and gas markets and a critical gauge of oil and gas demand growth.

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Meanwhile, China is set to increase its natural gas imports from Russia as Russian gas giant Gazprom has started constructing the extension of its gas pipeline to China, Upstream reported on Tuesday. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and is estimated to cost US$3.5 billion (280 billion Russian rubles), according to the Russian gas giant.

By Charles Kennedy For Oilprice.com

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