Commodity Online

BEIJING: China on Friday said it aims to find ten new oil fields, and eight to ten new gas fields by 2010 in an effort to reduce dependence on imports.

According to a government plan released here, the search is on for domestic reserves of key resources, such as iron ore and crude oil, to reduce dependence on imports.

By the same year, China is also seeking to find about 200 large mines, with coal, iron and copper being the resources most urgently needed, the plan drafted by the Ministry of Land and Resources, said.

China is the world's second largest crude oil importer. In 2006, it imported 145 million tons, which accounted for more than 45 percent of that year's total domestic consumption.

China is also the world's largest importer of iron and copper ores. In 2006, it imported 50 percent of its total requirement, he said.

New oil fields, gas fields and mines are being sought to provide an alternative to existing ones that are nearing exhaustion. Prospecting work currently under way for oil and gas fields and other mines is progressing well.

Large oil fields have already been found in central and west China, and in offshore areas of the east.