China’s Refinery Runs Record In First Two Months, Gas Output up 9 Percent

China Gas Holdings
FILE PHOTO: Gas storage facilities owned by China Gas Holdings are seen at a refueling station for ships in Chongqing, China, December 12, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Chen Aizhu/File Photo)

Data released on Thursday showed that refineries' output in China in the first two months of 2019 increased by 6.1 percent compared to last year based on a daily basis record because the emerging privately owned refineries started the operations of their processing facilities.

The data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the country's refiners processed 102.49 million tonnes of crude oil from January to February. The agency failed to provide monthly breakdowns of the output because of the week-long celebration of the Lunar New Year Holiday in early February.

Reuters' calculation based on the NBS data showed that the processing rate works at about 12.68 million barrels per day which exceeded the previous highest record of12.49 million barrels per day in September. It surpassed the average rates recorded for 2018 at 12.07 million barrels per day.

The increase in refinery output is caused by the operation of new refineries in the country. Hengli Petrochemical, a private chemical company, is scheduled to start its operation to produce 400, 000 barrels per day in Dalian City in northeast China by the end of March after a series of test runs since December.

The NBS data also reflected that China produced 30.69 million tonnes of crude oil during the first two months of the year. The output increased by 0.5 percent compared to last year. It also showed that the output rate in December eased from 3.845 million to 3.797 million barrels per day.

It is expected that the domestic oil production on China's three national oil companies will be lifter because of higher spending on exploration and production this year. It is was also predicted that the growth will be small because reserves deplete at the main production fields and as new discoveries tend to be marginal.

The NBS data also showed that the country's natural gas output increased by 9.2 percent from a year earlier to 28.7 billion cubic meters in the first two months of 2019 because the growth accelerated after output expanded 7.5 percent for the whole of 2018.

Analysts said that the country's gas output increased faster than oil because state energy firms focused on developing the fuel because it has a steadier profit return and its demand continued to increase the government's push to replace oil with gas. China has been promoting a cleaner source of energy on its industry and in its transportation.

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