The Chinese government said it intends to establish a 90-day strategic oil reserve. According to reports, Beijing has already selected four locations along the Chinese coast which will be used to store the oil. The reserve, originally reported to be five million tons, is scheduled to be around 50 million tons. Initial investment in storage facilities is projected to be around RMB 6 billion (US$725 million).
At the same time a nationwide project was launched to assess the potential capacity of China抯 oil and natural gas resources and establish a national database on them, the Ministry of Land and Resources announced. The ministry said the project would target more than 400 major sources of oil and natural resources and would provide a basis for determining the national strategy for future economic development. China is expected to surpass Japan as the world抯 number two oil importer for 2003.