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Scholar: China’s Strategic Oil Stockpile Had a Late Start and May Have Lost Opportunities

Xinhua‘s Huanqiu interviewed Lin Boqiang, the Director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University. In the interview, Lin commented on China’s strategic oil stockpile. He observed, “Unfortunately, our response to the demand to stockpile oil came late. Had we taken action sooner, we would have been in a better position to take advantage of the international oil price dive that occurred in 2008 and to enhance our stockpile capability.”

The China National Petroleum Reserve Center was established on December 18, 2007. The plan was to complete the build-up of China’s reserves within 15 years in three phases. The first phase has been completed and the second phase is scheduled to conclude in 2012. The third phase is in the design stage and is scheduled for completion in 2020. At the present time, China’s strategic oil stockpile will last 50 days. Lin said that after the second phase, China will have 60 days of oil stockpiled, and when the project is completed the oil reserve is to reach 90 days. He estimated that the U.S. may have about 90 to 100 days of strategic oil stockpiled, and can support well over six months. Currently about 55% of the oil that China consumes is imported.

Source: Huanqiu, February 10, 2012