Beijing, China: With the help of satellite imagery, experts revealed that China is enormously enriching its crude oil reserve. They claimed that it is one of the reasons behind oil price hike, gulfnews reported.
Cash-rich China’s hunger to fill these storage vaults when oil prices dip low is likely to be an important variable in influencing oil prices in future. In 2004, the Chinese Government worked out a three-phase plan to build strategic oil reserve bases over a 15-year period with the aim of stockpiling total reserve volume equivalent to 100 days of imports or more than 800 million tonnes.
The first phase, comprising four strategic oil reserve bases in the coastal cities of Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo and Zhoushan, has been operational since late 2008 with a total designed volume of 140 million tonnes. The second phase, now under way, is being built across eight bases, with two under construction at remote sites in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Qinghai.
By end-2010, China’s accumulated strategic oil reserve capacity was 178 million barrels, equivalent to around 36 days of consumption.
Energy security has now extended to natural gas as well. China has no natural gas reserve facility but early this year, it decided to make this a priority for the next five years.