China Steps Up Oil, Gas Exploration

China Steps Up Oil, Gas Exploration

Analysts expect energy companies to boost oil and natural gas exploration activities in China over the next year while the government continues pushing for more a diverse energy supply.

A government plan outlined at a recent conference in Beijing, according to a Southwest Securities analysis, would have the biggest impact on the Big Three state-owned energy companies that control domestic mineral exploration rights and mining rights – PetroChina, Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corp.

But private investors are also being invited to bid for exploration rights in areas such as western China’s Xinjiang region.

The nation’s natural gas system “is a top priority” for government energy planners, the report said. Natural gas consumption as a percentage of the nation’s energy mix would rise to 6.8 percent in 2017, while coal consumption would fall to around 60 percent.

Policymakers also hope to attract new investors to boost the nation’s oil and gas pipeline industry, which is now controlled by the Big Three.

Photo: Shale gas field in northwest China

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