A Chinese firm said it had found nearly 900 million barrels of proved crude oil reserves and an unspecified volume of natural gas in the Inner Mongolia region, the official Xinhua agency reported yesterday.

A spokesman for the No. 2 Drilling Company of Liaohe Oilfield told Xinhua the find had been made during preliminary exploration of the Songshan basin near Chifeng city. However, it was not clear how the company classified the reserves. Chinese oil firms do not always adhere to the strict definitions that govern listed Western companies.


The 120 million tonne find 876 million barrels at a conversion rate of 7.3 barrels per tonne would be equivalent to almost all of China's oil imports last year. Liaohe oil field, where the company that made the find is based, is China's third largest and controlled by CNPC. However it was not clear whether the state giant would be involved in exploring the new field.

The management of the drilling company and CNPC officials were not immediately available for comment.