China State Firms to Expand Domestic Oil, Gas Exploration After Xi’s Call

China’s state energy giants pledged this week to expand domestic oil and gas exploration and production and increase in particular natural gas supplies following an instruction from President Xi Jinping to boost national energy security. China National Offshore Oil Company, China’s offshore oil and gas specialist, said on Wednesday it aims to boost domestic oil and gas proven reserves including a 10-year plan to stabilize annual output at its top fields at Baohai Bay at 30 million tonnes, a statement on the company’s website said. Li Jiewen, spokeswoman for CNOOC Ltd, said the fact that companies issued statements around the same time was because it was when mid-term management meetings were held and companies normally issue strategic remarks after those meetings. Rapid growth in natural gas demand has led to surges in imports which made up some 45 percent of total consumptions last year and the country is set to overtake Japan as the world’s top gas buyer next year, as estimated by the International Energy Agency. The state oil firms’ remarks came as China is entangled in a tit-for-tat trade war with the United States. Beijing has added both U.S. crude oil and liquefied natural gas on its proposed retaliatory tariff list. Reuters