NewsChina discovers massive oil reserve, eyes reduced foreign dependency

China discovers massive oil reserve, eyes reduced foreign dependency

Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping
Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping
Images source: © PAP | XINHUA / SHEN HONG

12:28 PM EST, March 9, 2024

The Chinese state-owned enterprise CNOOC has found that its deepwater oil field in the South China Sea holds much more oil than originally thought. According to Reuters, the discovered deposits contain over 100 million tons of crude oil.

Reuters reports that the reserves are located in CNOOC's deepwater oil field, Kaiping South, which is near Guangdong province in the Pearl River Delta. These reserves consist of light crude oil.

China on the path to self-sufficiency

Following this discovery, CNOOC has increased its production target for the year by about 8 percent, aiming for a record output of 700-720 million barrels, largely due to the findings in the Bohai Sea and the aforementioned South China Sea.

With significant investments in oil and natural gas extraction, Beijing aims to become independent from foreign oil suppliers. China is the biggest consumer of oil from Middle Eastern countries, which inadvertently lessens the United States' influence in that region.

However, China's demand for oil and fuel has recently waned, partially due to economic troubles spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. This downturn is contributing to slight increases in fuel prices.

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