PetroChina Cuts Back on Exploration Costs in Xinjiang

PetroChina has decided to trim exploration costs in the Xinjiang region. The company's capital outlay for region has been reduced or kept the same from last year due to difficulties in exploration in the desert basins of Tarim, Tuha and Junggar. Exploration costs in Xinjiang are higher than at basins in eastern China because of complicated geologic conditions, making oil companies reluctant to inject more money for exploration.

For 2003, PetroChina's investment at its Karamay field in the Junggar basin is estimated to be CNY5.25 billion, down about 8% from last year, while at the Tarim basin, the company's investment will be 5% lower than last year's CNY3.1 billion. At Tuha basin, PetroChina's exploration investment will be less than CNY1 billion this year, compared with about CNY1 billion last year.