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China Fully Opens Up Oil and Gas Exploration Market

China’s Ministry of Natural Resources announced at a 9 January news briefing that the country will fully open up its market for oil and gas exploration and production to private and foreign companies. Domestic and foreign companies registered in China with net assets of no less than RMB300 million will be eligible to obtain oil and gas mining rights. Companies must also measure up to the relevant safety, environmental and other requirements and rules, besides possessing the necessary prospecting and exploitation technology and capabilities, before being allowed to  engage in oil and gas exploration and production.

In view of the particularities of  oil and gas prospecting and exploitation technology, which make it different to comparable equipment for non-oil and gas mineral resources, and of the industry’s long-standing challenges, the ministry’s Opinions makes it clear that a system combining both prospecting and exploitation will be practised when awarding mining rights. The new policy will take effect from 1 May 2020 and will remain in force for three years. If there is any discrepancy between the Opinions and applicable regulations in other documents issued before the implementation of the former , the Opinions shall prevail.

Full details can be found in the Opinions on Several Issues in Advancing the Reform of the Administration of Mineral Resources (for Trial Implementation) (Zi Ran Zi Gui No. 7 [2019]), issued recently by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Source: Ministry of Natural Resources

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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