PetroChina Co., the nation's top oil and gas producer, will
import 40 percent of the crude oil it needs for refining this year,
up from 30 percent in 2006, a company official said over the
The move highlights China's increasing reliance on imported
crude oil as demand for fuel grows rapidly.
The company plans to process up to 120 million tons of crude
this year, 10 million to 20 million tons more than last year, Zhang
Hong, a deputy chief economic adviser at PetroChina's refining and
marketing unit, said on the sidelines of an energy forum in
China imported 47 percent of its oil needs last year. The ratio
could rise one percentage point per year through 2020, according to
Jiang Xinmin of the Energy Research Institute under the National
Development and Reform Commission.
Zhang also said the company's refining business would remain in
the black if crude oil prices are below US$65 a barrel. China caps
refined oil prices to keep inflation in check, leaving refineries
unprofitable when crude costs are high.
Crude futures in New York on Friday were quoted above US$70 a
barrel for the first time since August.
Separately, Sinopec Corp., China's largest oil refiner, has
signed an initial agreement with South Korean counterpart SK Corp.
to form a joint venture to build a 14.7 billion yuan (US$1.9
billion) petrochemical plant in central China, Shu Zhaoxia, a
senior engineer at Sinopec parent China Petrochemical Corp's
economics and development research institute, told reporters at the
forum, confirming early reports that SK may join.
Shu declined to give further details on the deal. Earlier
reports had said Formosa Plastics Group in Taiwan was also
considering taking a stake in the project.
To be located in Wuhan, Hubei Province, the project will be able
to produce 800,000 tons of ethylene, a basic petrochemical building
block, a year when operation starts by 2010. It's the first
refining and chemical project to operate at such a large scale in
(Shanghai Daily July 2, 2007)