China Plan

BEIJING, December 25, 2008 (AFP) – China has started filling tanks at its largest oil reserve, taking advantage of tumbling world crude prices, state media reported Thursday. The aim of the reserves is to guarantee supply in times of need as the nation’s a growing economy demands ever-more energy to fuel the factories that supply many of the world’s consumers with manufactured goods.

Strategic oil reserves in the country are expected to reach 101.9 million barrels by the end of this year and rise to 145.9 million barrels in 2010, with 511.9 million barrels a long-term goal, Xinhua said.

A net importer of oil since 1993, China imported around 1.2 billion barrels of crude in 2007, up 12.4 percent from the previous year.

The country’s current oil consumption is about eight million barrels per day, according to data from the Securities Daily, a state-run newspaper. The facility’s 10 tanks, which have a total capacity of 6.3 million barrels, are operated by China National Petroleum Corp., the nation’s top oil producer, and are located in the northwest Xinjiang region, the Xinhua news agency said.

This is just the first phase of the reserve, which will eventually