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China''s CNPC lines up five new oil, gas projects

TOKYO, Dec 23 (KUNA) -- China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country's largest oil and gas producer, has approved five new projects, which include oil and gas pipelines, an oil refinery and chemical production, state-run China Daily reported Tuesday. It did not disclose any further details on the five projects, but they could include an oil refinery in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province and an oil and gas pipeline linking Yunnan province and Myanmar, the daily said. The Chengdu plant will have an oil refining capacity of 10 million tons per year and ethylene production capacity of 800,000 tons per year.
Construction of the China-Myanmar pipeline is expected to start in the first half of 2009, the newspaper said. The long-awaited pipeline will provide an alternative route for China's crude imports from the Middle East and Africa and ease the country's worries of its over-dependence on energy transportation through the Strait of Malacca. The Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific are the three main regions from which China imports oil. China is the world's second-biggest oil importer after the US.
The project included a USD 1.5 billion oil pipeline and USD 1.04 billion gas line, said the report. Driven by rapid economic development, China's oil imports have grown in recent years. In 2007, China imported nearly 200 million tons of oil, up more than 10 percent from 2006.
According to the daily, analysts said China should further diversify its sources of oil imports to find more sustainable supplies. China plans to extend its oil and gas pipelines by nearly 60 percent by 2010. CNPC General Manager Jiang Jiemin earlier said the company's investment in 2009 will focus on finding more oil and gas resources. (end) mk.ajs KUNA 231810 Dec 08NNNN