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China stocks 3 mln barrels of Russian crude oil in strategic reserves
2006-10-11 03:23:23 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SHANGHAI, Oct. 11 (AP) -- China has put 3 million barrels of Russian crude oil into its strategic oil reserve since August, a state-run newspaper reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources at China Petrochemical Corp.

The amount stored represents about 10 percent of the 32.7 million barrel capacity of China's strategic reserve at Zhenhai, a port city south of Shanghai, the Shanghai Securities News reported.

Stocking of the reserve began with a shipment of 140,000 metric tons, or 1.03 million barrels, of Russian crude oil from the Urals that arrived in China in Aug. 11, the report said.

It did not give details on other shipments or say how much domestic crude oil is already in the tanks in addition to the Russian oil.

China's establishment of a strategic oil reserve is part of a wider plan to guarantee national energy security by diversifying its sources of crude oil away from the Middle East and increasing the share of natural gas and other energy sources.

Xu Dingming, vice director of the State Energy Office under the State Council, recently confirmed that domestically produced crude was being used for the strategic reserve, saying that filling of the tanks was under way.

The government has tried to keep details on the filling of the reserve and source of oil secret to stop traders from bidding prices higher. It is sensitive to accusations that China triggered the rise in world oil prices when its consumption of crude surged two years ago.

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