Despite the recent slump in oil prices in the international market, the price of refined oil is still lower in China than elsewhere in the world.
Jiang Jiemin, general manager of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), made the remark here Friday at a gathering of leaders of giant state-owned enterprises.
In December 2006, the domestic prices of gasoline and diesel oil were 5,200 yuan (667 U.S. dollars) per ton and 4,570 yuan per ton, while in Singapore prices were 5,509 yuan and 5,352 yuan respectively, Jiang said.
Government policy prevents the domestic price of refined oil from fluctuating in line with the international market, said Wang Tianpu, president of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China's largest oil processor.
Wang claimed that the huge profits of Chinese petroleum giants in recent years were due to better internal management rather than the rocketing oil price.
Operating costs at Sinopec had decreased by 10 billion yuan annually, he said.
To ensure stable oil supplies in China, oil refineries suffered huge losses from pegged prices of refined oil while the international price soared, he said.
The CNPC hands over one third of its profit to the government as tax, Jiang said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2007)