China has been taking advantage of low crude oil prices to increase its reserves, the Wall Street Journal reported. Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, said last week that China should increase its reserves, and that the government will "encourage companies to utilize idle storage capacity to increase inventories." Despite weaker domestic demand growth, China has been increasing oil imports, and some analysts estimate reserves have grown by 25 million barrels since August. The country’s reserve capacity is currently 102 million barrels of crude oil. This will increase to 170 million with the completion of the current phase of construction on oil-reserve bases. Non state-owned oil distributors and refiners may also have up to 1 billion barrels of idle storage capacity.
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