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China's oil output to rise steadily as gas output soars

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BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's oil production will rise steadily over the next 20 years, and its gas output will soar, the Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday.

Combined oil and gas output is expected to rise to 360 million tonnes of oil equivalent by 2015 and 450 million tonnes by 2030, up from 280 million tonnes last year, Peng Qiming, director of the ministry's geological exploration department, said at a press conference, adding that "natural gas will contribute mainly to the growth in oil and gas output."

The country has discovered 52 trillion cubic meters of gas, of which, 32 trillion cubic meters can be exploited, according to a report issued by the ministry at the press conference.

The report said the country's natural gas output will reach 300 billion cubic meters by 2030. The Ordos Basin in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Sichuan Basin in Sichuan province will remain the country's major gas-producing regions.

Meanwhile, the country can maintain annual crude output at the level of 200 million tonnes over the next 20 years. China's annual oil production may peak around 220 million tonnes, the report said, without specifying when the peak will be reached.

China will step up oil and gas exploration to meet the country's rising energy demands and to ease its reliance on imports, Peng said.

China's oil dependency rate reached 54.8 percent during the first half of the year, up one percentage point from a year earlier, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission.

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