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Sunday, August 05, 2007

China Expands its Oil Reseves in Africa

China CNPC strikes oil of commercial value in Chad

BEIJING, July 30 (Reuters) - China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) has struck oil of commercial value for the first time in Chad, after buying a 50 percent share of an oil exploration partnership in the landlocked African nation last year.

CNPC, China's top oil and gas producer, did not provide any estimates of oil in place or an even more useful gauge such as recoverable reserves in a news release posted on its Web site (www.cnpc.com.cn) on Monday.

China restored diplomatic relations with Chad in August last year after the latter ended its relations with self-ruled Taiwan, regarded by Beijing a renegade province.

Exploration in block 438B, in the northern part of the Sahara desert, in Algeria had also witnessed an important breakthrough, said CNPC.

The company hoped to form an oil production capacity of more than 1 million tonnes a year before 2010 in Algeria, it said.

CNPC said its overseas exploration proceeded satisfactorily in the first half of this year in other countries as well such as Kazakhstan, where three new appraisal wells had found high volume of oil flows.

An appraisal well in block IOR4 in Myanmar also gushed a high volume of gas while exploration wells in block 6 in Sudan got a high output, it said, without providing any figures.

CNPC, the parent of PetroChina has been active to tap overseas upstream markets in recent years as growth in its domestic crude oil production fails to catch up with soaring demand.

In 2006, crude output at CNPC's overseas operations increased 40.1 percent on year to 28.07 million tonnes, or around a quarter of its domestic production which nudged up only 0.7 percent from a year earlier.
The Rest @ Reuters

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