China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country's third largest oil company, received permission from the Ministry of Commerce to enter the wholesale oil market. This will break the monopoly that PetroChina and Sinopec have in the sector.
Currently, CNOOC has the capacity to process 17 million tons of crude oil annually. Insiders from CNOOC say the company would have the price advantage for relatively low refinery and staff costs.
Huang Shunjing, an analyst from www.oilboss.cn, said that CNOOC's entrance into the market will definitely make the competition fiercer.
As of the end of 2008, CNOOC had 187 gas stations nationwide.
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(China.org.cn by Li Xiaohua July 27, 2009)