The Chinese government is urging the country's top three national oil companies to increase investment in exploration and development, to help sustain faster-than-expected economic growth this year.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) last week summoned the chief executives of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to a meeting in Beijing to stress that they should boost upstream onshore and offshore investment and lose no time in increasing reserves and production.