Oil imports made by China jumped 17.6% in the first half of 2006, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday. Net crude oil imports from January to June hit 492 million barrels, 43% of the country's consumption, according to state media figures quoted by the newspaper. China's economic boom has driven up oil exports in recent years and state companies have signed multibillion-dollar deals to exploit oil and gas in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The growth in overseas oil explorations is matched by efforts at home to develop new fields, promote conservation and seek alternative energy sources like nuclear power, the newspaper reported. The January to June imports include oil from Angola, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Oman, Equatorial Guinea, Yemen, Congo, Libya and Venezuela.
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