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Wed, Jan 18, 2006 - Page 12 News List

CNPC outlines ambitious overseas plans

EMPIRE BUILDING The Chinese oil giant intends to build five production zones by 2010 as well as two pipelines from Russia and Kazakhstan to central Henan Province


China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's largest oil group, announced plans yesterday to double its overseas business volume by 2010 as part of an ambitious growth strategy.

CNPC, the parent company of Hong Kong-listed PetroChina, aims to pump at least 80 million tonnes of oil and gas annually by 2010 from overseas fields, the company said in a statement.

The Beijing-based group also wants to build five overseas production zones, each with an output of at least 10 million tonnes a year, by 2010.

The statement was released by CNPC's overseas business arm, China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corp.

Last year CNPC formed a joint venture with PetroChina to hold overseas assets, helping it sign deals worth billions of US dollars either alone or with domestic and foreign companies in Equador, Syria and Kazakhstan.

CNPC bought Canadian-listed PetroKazakhstan, the central Asian country's third-largest oil producer, for US$4.18 billion in August.

CNPC also wants to build two 12 billion yuan (US$1.48 billion) pipelines to provide oil and gas from Russia and Kazakhstan to the center of the country, the official Shanghai Securities News reported yesterday.

The just submitted proposal, which needs government approval, aims to link the Sino-Kazakhstan pipeline to central China.

The 1,000km pipeline currently links Atasu in central Kazakhstan to Alashanku in Xinjiang Province.

Deliveries are expected to start in the middle of this year, with an initial annual capacity of 10 million tonnes, but China wants the line to now be extended to Zhengzhou in Henan Province.

Eventually it would also link Hunan Province, according to Zhu Shihou, a director from the energy department of Henan's Development and Reform Commission.

Some details

* CNPC aims to pump at least 80 million tonnes of oil and gas from overseas fields a year by 2010.

* It wants to build five overseas production zones, each with an output of at least 10 million tonnes a year.

* It wants to expand the Sino-Kazakhstan pipeline from Xinjiang to central China.

The other plan on the drawing board is to link Jinzhou city in Liaoning Province and Wuhan, Hubei Province, via Henan's Zhengzhou, the newspaper said. That line would pipe 8 million tonnes of oil from resource rich Russia.

Russia announced this month it would begin construction later this year on its multi-billion-dollar trans-Siberian pipeline, which will supply both China and Japan.

CNPC now has oil and gas assets in 22 countries. Its total oil and gas output amounted to 1.034 billion barrels of oil, a rise of 5.5 percent from a year earlier, the company said in yesterday's statement.

Crude oil output reached 842 million barrels, an increase of 12.80 million barrels, or 1.5 percent from a year ago, marking the largest annual increase in recent years.

The company expects to sustain a replacement ratio for crude oil reserves of above 100 percent this year.

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