China reports on oil production

Jul 17, 2006 02:00 AM

China produced 91.664 mm tons of crude oil in the first 6 months of the year, a rise of 2.1 % on the corresponding period last year, said sources with the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association (CPCIA). Output of refined oil products was 84.822 mm tons, up 5.6 % year on year, the CPCIA told.
According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs, China's net imports of crude oil was 70.33 mm tons in the first six months, up 17.6 % year on year and that of refined oil products, 12.03 mm tons with a growth of 48.3 %.

The apparent consumption of crude oil, representing the sum of net imports and output, is 161.994 mm tons, 8.2 % up on the same period last year, and that of refined oil products, 96.852 mm tons, up 19.2 %. Both the output and apparent consumption of crude oil and refined oil products hit a record high in the first six months.
Driven by soaring oil prices, a lot of money has been piped into the oil exploration and production sector, said Niu Li, an analyst with the State Information Centre. According to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China's investment in the petroleum and natural gas exploration sector rose by 30.3 % year on year.

The booming market demand driven by a fast-growing economy had given Chinese oil producers a lot of confidence, said Niu. China's economy surged 10.9 % year-on-year in the first half of 2006, 0.9 % up from the same period of last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Gong Jinshuang, senior engineer with the research institute of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China's largest oil producer, said that rocketing investment in heavy and chemical industries and the soaring numbers of private cars in China had both led to a sharp rise in China's oil consumption. Investment in heavy industry rose by 32.6 % on the same period last year, according to the NBS.

However, Gong said that although apparent consumption of crude oil and refined oil products rose significantly, real consumption did not grow so fast. According to him, although China's apparent oil consumption in the first six months of 2005 was up just 0.11 %, the real consumption growth was as high as 5.6 % because of a sharp drop in the domestic stockpile.
In contrast to last year, China's domestic stockpile of crude oil and refined oil products rose in the first six months of this year, said Gong. Oil refining and chemical projects that came into operation this year had led to increased stockpiling. Consequently, the market for refined oil products is considerably less tense than at the same period last year.

Gong predicted that the domestic market will continue to see a faster rise of apparent consumption of crude oil and refined oil in the second half of this year.
However, the rocketing international oil price and imminent pricing reform on domestic refined oil are uncertain factors affecting future consumption, he said.

Source: Xinhua
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