China says found more oil and gas deposits in 2011
Friday, 24 February 2012 | 11:00
China found more proven geological oil and gas reserves last year than a year earlier, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Thursday.
The second largest oil consuming country discovered 1.37 billion tonnes of proven geological oil reserves in 2011, up 20.6 percent from 2010, Xu Dachun, deputy head of the ministry's mineral resources reserve department, told a press briefing.
The annual findings were the second largest since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Xu said in comments published on the ministry's website (www.mlr.gov.cn).
Of the new findings, technically recoverable oil reserves totaled 266 million tonnes, up 21.4 percent on year.
The technically recoverable findings were about 30 percent higher than China's crude oil output of 203.65 million tonnes in 2011. Normally, oil firms only tap economically viable oil deposits, which are part of technically recoverable reserves.
China also found 765.95 billion cubic metres (bcm) of proven geological natural gas deposits in 2011, a rise of 29.6 percent from 2010, and newly-found technically recoverable gas deposits amounted to 395.67 bcm, up 37.6 percent, Xu said.
The official did not specify the country's remaining proven oil and gas reserves that are technically recoverable or commercially viable, two criteria often used in China.
Chinese government and industry estimates of oil and gas reserves often differ from those in the West, which are governed by strict definitions that make clear how much of a field's oil is expected to be produced over its life time.
China now relies on foreign countries for more than 55 percent of oil supplies despite being a net oil exporter in the mid-1990s, as limited domestic production growth failed to catch up with fast-rising demand.
In other commodities, Xu said exploration uncovered 57.51 billion tonnes of coal resources, 2.38 billion tonnes of iron ore and 3.82 million tonnes of copper last year.
Newly-found lead resources totaled 4.45 million tonnes, zinc 8.83 million tonnes and gold 743.6 tonnes, he said.
China discovered 43.6 billion tonnes of coal, 7.98 billion tonnes of iron ore, 610 tonnes of gold resources and 3.71 million tonnes of copper in 2010, according to earlier data from the ministry. It also found 4.93 million tonnes of lead and 7.83 million tonnes of zinc.
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