Beijing: China, the world's second-largest energy user, aims to build emergency crude oil reserves to meet 90 to 100 days of domestic demand, Zhang Guobao, the head of the National Energy Administration, said.
"Our ultimate reserve target is to meet the level of countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)," Guobao was quoted as saying by China National Petroleum Corp., the country's biggest oil producer, in a company newsletter on Tuesday.
The Paris-based OECD group comprises 30 nations, including the US and Japan. China is not a member.
China is aiming to take advantage of weakened oil prices amid the global recession to build stockpiles, the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner, said last month. The government started filling four oil reserves sites on the east coast last year and will build 26.8 million cubic metres of storage under the second phase.
China plans to construct underground caverns and storage bases in inland regions under the second phase, Zhang said. The government will start building eight storage sites in cities, including Huangdao and Jinzhou this year under the later phase, state-run China Central Television said in a report on February 3.
The four stockpile bases representing the first phase will hold the equivalent of 30 days of oil imports, China National said in the newsletter. China imported 178.9 million metric tons, or 1.3 billion barrels, of crude oil last year, adding to 189.7 million tonnes of domestic production, government data showed.
China's commercial oil reserves are currently sufficient to meet 21 days of consumption.