Intensified oil exploration efforts boosted China's oil reserves by 25% in 2004, Xinhua reported. According to the agency China's two biggest oil companies, Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), located new reserves of nearly 850m tons of oil. Earlier reports from Xinhua had put Chinese oil reserves at 3.2bn tons in late 2003. The two companies also discovered a combined 422bn cubic meters of natural gas last year, Xinhua said, but did not detail how easily exploitable the newly-found reserves were. China, already the second-largest user of crude oil after the United States, is forecast to see consumption grow by 11% year-on-year in 2005.
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