crude oil from Kazakhstan at its newly built storage terminal in northwestern Xinjiang province.

The company said it has invested 856-million yuan to complete the first phase of the Shanshan storage terminal located 300 km east of Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi. (US$1=6.85 yuan). The terminal’s first phase has the capacity to store up to one million cubic metres of crude oil.

PetroChina has contracted its subsidiary, Xinjiang Oilfield Corp, to develop and build the terminal at a total cost of 6.5 billion yuan to store as much as eight million cubic metres of crude oil from neighbouring Kazakhstan.

PetroChina’s parent, CNPC, is a shareholder in Kazakh crude oil producer PetroKazakhstan.

China has stepped up its stockpile building programme to take advantage of the sharp decline in crude oil prices since July.

It has completed four large strategic petroleum storage sites under the first phase of its stockpiling programme, and is now planning to launch the second phase.