China's going to double its oil and gas output by 2030

China, the world's biggest energy consumer, is set to more than double crude oil and gas output over the next sixteen years, according to its Ministry of Land and Resources.

The ministry predicted today that output may reach 700m tonnes of oil equivalent by 2030, saying the assessment came from a recent resources evaluation.

That amount is over double last year's output, which the preliminary figures showed stood at 320m tonnes of oil equivalent.

China's frenetic economic growth has seen it charge ahead of the US as the world's top net oil importer.

By 2030, verified crude oil reserves in the country are forecast to hit 22bn tonnes, with annual production ranging from 200 to 250m tonnes, according to the evaluation.

And when it comes to natural gas, verified reserves will reach 12 trillion cubic metres, with yearly gas output up 10bn cubic metres.

Yesterday the FT reported that western energy firms are flocking to China to help unlock its shale reserves, which offer the potential to become enormous markets for them.