Lab tests conducted by PetroChina of oil sands samples obtained in Yousha Mountains at Qaidam basin in northwest China determined that the resource is proven economically feasible for further exploration and development.

According to the company-run China Petroleum Daily newspaper earlier in the week, the oil sands samples are proven with an average bitumen content of 5.2% at a specific gravity rate of 0.9 gram/cubic cm. It is also proven that clean oil represents a high proportion in the samples, which means a relatively low cost for refining such oil sands&sh;i.e., basically feasible for further developments.

The report said that the Qaidam oil sands reserve is expected to acquire a daily crude oil output capacity of 700 metric tons (tonnes). But the report did not give any detail figure for the total reserve of the oil sands in the project.

China has not yet started commercial production of domestic oil sands, although Chinese companies are investing in the oil sands projects in Canada.