China Goes Hog-Wild in 2007, Discovers 62 Large Mineral Deposits

During 2007, the Chinese Year of the Boar, operating companies discovered 62 large mineral deposits in within the vast borders of China, according to a report issued by the China Ministry of Land and Resources.

The report detailed finds that included three 1-million-ton oil fields and 30 Bcm of natural gas fields.

These finds increase China's proven oil reserves by 30.1% compared to the reserves of 2006. Natural gas reserves in China reached 617.8 Bcm with the new discoveries.

For 2006, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics showed China ranking 12th in the world in proven oil reserves with 18 billion barrels of oil.

The EIA reported that China had the second largest drop in oil reserves between 2000 and 2007 at 8-billion barrels of oil. Mexico had the largest decrease in oil reserves during the same period at 16-billion barrels.

A year ago, the EIA was claiming that China's "largest oil producing fields [were] mature and production [had] peaked, leading oil exploration activities to focus on developing largely untapped reserves in the western interior provinces and offshore fields."

China is the world's second-largest oil consumer behind the United States. The vast Asian country is also the third-largest net importer of oil behind the United States and Japan, respectively.