China's natural gas reserves rose the most in 2012

Updated: 2013-03-27 17:23


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Due to technological innovations and the national campaign on mineral resources, China's natural gas reserves increased by the most ever last year, while oil reserves also rose, a senior official said on Wednesday.

New proven natural gas reserves were at 961 billion cubic meters in 2012, up 33 percent year-on-year, while new proven oil reserves surged 13 percent, or 1.5 billion tons, Xu Dachun, deputy director of the mineral resources reserves department of the Ministry of Land and Resources, said at a press conference in Beijing.

"The climbing proven oil and gas reserves mean a lot for China in easing energy shortage concerns and enhancing the domestic energy resources supply capacity," Xu said.

Last year, China — the world’s top energy user — consumed about 251 million tons of refined oil products, up 3.3 percent year-on-year and more than 147 billion cu m of natural gas, data released by the National Development and Reform Commission showed.

In 2012, China's oil output reached 205 million tons, including 40 million tons produced in the Daqing oil field and 275 million tons in oil fields in Shengli.

Of the new proven natural gas reserves in 2012, 501 billion cu m can be technically recovered, up 36 percent from the previous year, according to Xu.

Of the new proven oil reserves last year, 270 million tons were technically recovered, about 7 percent more than in 2011, he added.

Regarding other mining resources, new proven coal resources were 56 billion tons in 2012, iron ore resources were 3.7 billion tons, copper ore 32 billion tons, gold 518 tons and bauxite 210 million tons, according to the figures released by the ministry.

Xu said the country is launching a national mineral resources survey and that the final report is likely to be finished before the end of the year.

For the booming shale gas exploration projects, the ministry didn’t mention any figures regarding proven reserves.

As mining poses potential threats to nearby waters, farms and villages, the Ministry of Land and Resources is drawing national standards to regulate mineral resources exploration and production to curb pollution.

The standards are expected to come out within three to five years, Xu added.

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