China moves ahead with petroleum reserve base fills

China expects to begun transporting oil at the end of this month for storage at its third petroleum reserve base in Huangdao, Shandong province.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 23 -- China expects to begun transporting oil at the end of this month for storage at its third petroleum reserve base in Huangdao, Shandong province.

Phase one of the Huangdao reserve began in June 2006 with construction of 32 oil tanks for a combined storage capacity of 25 million bbl, or about 3 days' worth of consumption.

The Huangdao reserve is the second of China's first four bases, which will have a combined total storage capacity of 102 million bbl of oil.

China's first facility, in Zhenhai in the eastern province of Zhejiang, began stocking up last August and now has 24 million bbl of oil out of a total capacity of 32 million bbl.

The second base at Zhoushan, with a storage capacity of 25 million bbl, has been completed, while the fourth base at Dalian, with a 20 million bbl capacity, is due to be completed by yearend.

Under China's tenth 5-Year Plan (2000-05), Chinese officials raised the possibility of building a national petroleum reserve base, and the country has since invested about 6 billion yuan ($777 million) on the first four sites.

Meanwhile, plans are under way to select sites for a second group of government-backed bases, as well as for China's first commercial petroleum reserve depot.

The first site under the commercial reserve program—in the Yangpu Economic and Development Zone (YEDZ) on the southern Chinese island province of Hainan—will be funded by domestic and foreign companies, according to YEDZ director Ding Shangqing.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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