In accordance with the standards of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), China will work to increase its strategic oil reserves capacity to 90 days, Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration (NEA), said at a press conference Friday.
"At present, we are far from this level," said Zhang, who is also vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planning body.
China on Thursday started building the Dushanzi strategic oil reserve base in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region as a part of the country's second phase of strategic oil reserve bases. The project, which has a capacity of 5.4 million cu m, will consist mainly of crude from Kazakhstan.
The project is one of several energy projects started in Xinjiang on Thursday. Others include three plants that will provide electricity and heat to local people, one power transmission line, one coalmine and one LNG (liquefied natural gas) project, accounting for a total investment of 23 billion yuan.
The seven projects will create 6,000 jobs and generate 2 billion yuan in taxes annually, Zhang said.
"Construction of the Dushanzi oil reserve base is in line with the country's move to build more strategic oil reserves in the inland regions," said Zhang.
The first four bases have a total capacity of 16.4 million cu m. They were all filled with crude last year, according to the NEA.
The country's second phase of strategic oil reserves will include eight bases, the NEA announced in February at a national energy conference. The eight bases will include one in Huangdao in Shandong and one in Jinzhou in Liaoning.
Under a three-year (2009-11) blueprint outlined by the NEA, China will accelerate the construction of oil reserves to enhance energy security. The country will collect and store 44.6 million cu m of crude oil reserves by 2011.
Industry insiders said earlier that China is expected to stockpile 70 million cu m of refined oil by 2015, up from 52 million cu m at the end of last year.