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Trams at Wan Chai

Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the PRC) is one of 2 such regions of China (the other being Macau). It lies on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River Estuary. It borders the province of Guangdong to the north.

Human inhabitants in Hong Kong have been recorded form 35,000 years ago. From 214 BC the island was run by a series of Chinese dynasties until the First Opium War (1839–42) when, following the treaty of Nanking made with the Qing Dynasty, it became a UK Crown Colony.

Kowloon Peninsula was incorporated into the Colony in 1860 and a 99-year lease for the New Territories was negotiated in 1898. Japan occupied Hong Kong from late 1941 to mid-1945.

After World War 2 the territory was rapidly industrialised. In 1983 it was reclassified as a British Dependent Territory and the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration provided for transfer back to China. This happened in 1997 under the principle of one country, two systems.

Occasional protests regarding the terms of Chinese rule occur. The so-called Umbrella Revolution happened in 2014 and sometimes violent arguments about legal rights began in 2019 that had a serious effect on the territory’s economy, later over-shadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic.. Hong Kong is a global trade hub (with a free market economy) and financial centre and, up to 2019, was the world's number one tourist destination city.

Hong Kong is surrounded by the South China Sea on the east, south, and west.The territory consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and over 200 offshore islands, of which the largest is Lantau Island. Much of the terrain is hilly or mountainous with steep slopes so that less than 25% is developed.The highest elevation is at Tai Mo Shan at 957m.

Geologically it is composed of Mesozoic volcanics and granite over 85% of its land area, surrounded by Palaeozoic meta-sediments. Thus Hong Kong has no identified indigenous oil or gas potential, either onshore or offshore (it claims territorial waters to a distance of 5.6 kms) and Globalshift believes it is very unlikely to achieve any production in the future. No oil and gas exploration wells have ever been drilled.

China now owns the offshore seas surrounding the island and pipes gas into Hong Kong from fields in the South China Sea (Pearl River Mouth and Yinggehai Basins).


Map and Territorial Flag

Brief history of the territory (China)

North Asia

Hong Kong

E and P


Oil and gas summary



Land area (sq kms)

Oil prod (000s b/d)

Gas prod (bcm/yr)

Oil cons (000s b/d)

Gas cons (bcm/yr)


Hong Kong

7.2 mm






Hong Kong is autonomous. Its political and judicial systems are supposed to operate independently of those of mainland China except in defence and foreign affairs.

The Chief Executive remains an appointed rather than democratic role.

There is no department of government in Hong Kong responsible for oil and gas resources.

The Environment Bureau is an executive agency responsible for environmental protection, including oversight of the electricity sector.

Click below for:

Hong Kong Gallery Datafiles

Excel files - histories and forecasts of production and wells for all countries and regions