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China to encourage foreign investment in oil and gas

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BEIJING - China will encourage foreign investment in oil and gas exploration and development and ethylene projects with capacity of no less than 1.0 million tons per year (tpy), Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

In guidelines issued by NDRC soliciting public opinion, the top economic planning body said the government will also encourage foreign investment in exploration and development of coal gas and unconventional oil and gas, such as oil sands and shale gas, it reported.

However, the government would restrict foreign investment in petrochemical projects, including crude distillation units with capacity lower than 10 million tpy, fluid catalytic cracking units with capacity below 1.5 million tpy, hydrocracking units with capacity less than 1.5 million tpy, and continuous reformer with capacity below 1.0 million tpy.

The NDRC and the Ministry of Commerce made the revisions public late last week to solicit public opinion via email before the end of April. The guidelines for foreign investment in China were last revised in 2007.

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