TIANJIN, Jul. 25 -- The construction of China's petroleum reserves is in full swing, with the capacity reaching a 36-day consumption level in the preliminary phase, said Li Shousheng, vice-chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation.
"China's petroleum strategic reserve is key to addressing the issues of the national economy and energy safety during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015). There is a huge gap between the supply of, and demand for, energy. The energy safety problem would become very prominent if an emergency occurs," Li added.
Despite last year's record 200 million tons of oil output, oil consumption in China was as high as 440 million tons, more than 50 percent of which was imported from abroad.
"Several government-funded national strategic petroleum reserve bases are currently under construction at breakneck speed and have now reached the capacity of 36 days of consumption to meet the need of the strategic reserve," Li said.
The now-completed Tianjin petroleum reservoir belongs to the second group of oil strategic reserve projects launched by the nation's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010).
Currently under construction is a 6.4-million-cubic-meter national petroleum reservoir, also in the Tianjin area. Work began on it last year and estimated completion is next year or in the first half of 2013, according to Zhang Dongsheng, director of Tianjin Municipal Government Petrochemical Planning Office.
According to Li, the operation of strategic petroleum reserves varies between countries and political systems. In China, such reserves are planned and funded by the nation and operated by companies. "We have just started running petroleum reserves under such a mechanism. We need to explore the issue further and learn as we go," Li said.
During the 11th Five-Year Plan period, major economic growth measurement parameters such as the gross value of the whole industry, sales revenue and capital experienced a more than 20 percent increase annually. By the end of 2010, there were more than 60 chemical industrial parks across the country that contained advanced management systems.
Last year China's petroleum and chemical industry was valued at 8.88 trillion yuan ($1.38 trillion), putting it second place in the world behind the United States. Of the 8.88 trillion yuan, 5.23 trillion yuan was accounted for by the chemical industry, putting it in first place by value globally. Last year's gas production was approximately 100 billion cubic meters.
The 2011 China Petroleum & Chemical International Conference will be held in Tianjin Binhai New Area from Sept 7 to 9, 2011. It is jointly organized by the Tianjin government and China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation.
The conference will mainly discuss the prospects and strategies for the future development of key industries including the petrochemical, coal-chemical, and fine chemicals sectors during the 12th Five-Year Plan period.