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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

China's biggest onshore oil field near 'exhaustion'


China Daily:

China Energy Crisis"China's largest onshore oil field, Daqing Oil Field, faces ``imminent exhaustion'' of its exploitable reserves, local authorities said Wednesday."

The Daqing Oil Field once boasted apparently 2.2 billion tons of exploitable oil reserve and this is now down to an estimated 500 million tons.

Energy is a huge problem for China. The demand for it is great obviously because of the size of the population and the climate but also because of the surging economy and commercial requirements.

Coal currently meets 75% of China's energy requirements and she has the third largest coal deposits and is the largest consumer of coal in the world. Currently some 200,000 coal mines operate to exploit this valuable resource.

China faces several major problems relating to energy. Firstly coal and coal mining has an incredibly detrimental effect on the environment. Pollution is a very major concern to the Chinese Government. Secondly China is extremely inefficient in it's energy usage and the state heavily subsidises energy costs for the "private" sector. To achieve a 1% increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) requires more than a 2% increase in energy consumption.

This problem is not lost on the Chinese Government and they are desperately seeking ways to fuel projected growth through importing of gas and oil, exploring nuclear power options and pursuing hydro_electrical schemes such as the Three Gorges Project