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China Finds New Deposits in Tibet

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/08/23; August 23, 2001.]

Dubai: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 (Gulf News Online Edision) - Oil Briefs - August 22.

Beijing - Chinese researchers have found new gas and oil deposits in Tibet totalling as much as 5.4 billion tonnes, state media said yesterday. The deposits, located along a 100-kilometre stretch in the Qiangtang basin, include "hundreds of millions of tonnes" of oil, the China Daily reported, quoting participants at a seminar on the development of Tibet. Spurred by the find, experts have appealed to the government to launch new exploration of deposits in Tibet to promote its strategic development, the paper said.

If exploited, the find could tie Tibet further to China, which is already involved in heavy investments in the region. The central government said earlier this summer it would invest some $3.8 billion in 117 construction projects in Tibet. Beijing has also launched an ambitious railway project to connect Tibet with western China. The 1,118-kilometre railway, the first linking Tibet with the western China, will extend from the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to Golmud, a city in northwest China's Qinghai province.

Venezuela Seeks More Investment

Caracas - Venezuela wants more foreign investment in oil and gas exploration, even as it plans to double extraction rates for private companies, Energy Minister Alvaro Silva Calderon said Monday. Legislation to revamp the rules for the private sector in Venezuela's oil industry will offer 'investors a substantial and attractive incentive, both in crude and natural gas production,' Silva Calderon told reporters.

Slated for approval by November, the legislation won't affect a gradual opening of the oil sector to foreign capital begun in 1993, and all existing deals with foreign firms will be honored, he said. Venezuela's state oil monopoly plans to raise taxes on production from 16 per cent to 30 per cent and require companies to assume all exploration costs. Concessions and other taxes won't be affected, Silva Calderon said.

Medco Aims to Double Output

Jakarta - Energy firm PT Medco Energi Indonesia said yesterday it aimed to double crude oil output in five years, mainly from new production areas. Medco president director John Karamoy said the firm's crude oil output this year was 80,000 barrels per day (bpd), from last year's 66,000 bpd average. "The field we discovered in 1996 has contributed to the increase but in the recent past, we have made significant oil discoveries in Sumatra and also in Kalimantan," Karamoy told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Jakarta.

"Our corporate goal is to double our production five years from now," he added. Medco is one of Indonesia's largest energy firms and is controlled by politician Arifin Panigoro, who is facing a probe by the Attorney-General's office over alleged graft at the company. Panigoro is also parliamentary faction leader of the country's largest party, the Indonesia Democratic Party-Struggle, which is headed by new President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He has denied any wrongdoing.

PetroChina in Bid to Boost Reserves

Beijing - PetroChina aims to boost gas reserves at two hydrocarbon basins to ensure gas supplies to a planned pipeline running from the west to the east of China, Beijing industry sources said yesterday. Some 160 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas are expected to be added to proven reserves in the Ordos and Tarim basins by the end of the year, the sources said.

The basins are in the northwest of the country. The new reserves would be in addition to the 1.36 trillion cubic metres of gas already proven in the basins. "Heavy exploration in these two areas this year were aimed at ensuring ample gas reserves for the West-East pipeline," said one official close to PetroChina's gas operations.

PetroChina designated the basins as the key supply sources for the 4,200-km pipeline from northwest China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region to the eastern city of Shanghai. The Ordos Basin is believed to hold the biggest gas reserves in China, sources said. By the end of 2000, PetroChina had proven 750.4 bcm of gas reserves in the basin, which borders the northwest provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia.

Xinjiang's Tarim Basin had a proven reserve of 610 bcm by the end of last year, they said. Construction of the pipeline is slated to start in October, with gas expected to flow to Shanghai in late 2003.

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