(Yicai Global) Jan. 9 -- China plans to open up its oil and gas exploration and mining markets, which are currently only open to state-owned enterprises, to more capital resources in order to stimulate vitality in the sector, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Companies registered on the Chinese mainland, regardless of their funding origin, with at least CNY300 million (USD43 million) in net assets will be eligible to buy mining rights, the ministry said at a press briefing today. Firms looking to explore new oil and gas resources must meet certain safety and environmental protection criteria and possess technology needed to pursue the field, it added.
Creating new fundraising channels will allow China to focus more on exploration and improve its ability to guarantee resource availability, CCTV cited Yao Huajun, head of the ministry's mining rights management department, as saying.
The ministry said in a document on Dec. 31 that it would planned to conduct reforms in the transfer of mining rights, oil and gas exploration and extraction, and management of reserves. The reforms will also cover rights transfers, exploration and mining for rare-earth and radioactive ores, it added.
Editor: James Boynton