China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Thursday it has granted oil products wholesale licenses to another eight state-owned and private companies.
The firms are CNOOC Refinery Co., Ltd. and its sales subsidiary, Sinochem International Oil Co. and its subsidiaries in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, Sichuan Ludi Oil Sales Co., Ltd and Wuhu Erhuan Oil Co., Ltd..
They are the first batch of companies that have won licenses after China opened the oil products wholesale market in December last year, the MOFCOM said.
The ministry said the move is the first step to foster a perfectly competitive oil products wholesale market.
A total 2,512 companies in China have oil products wholesale rights, including the newly approved eight companies, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Commerce.
The statistics also show 1,654, or 65.8 percent of the oil products wholesalers, are run by the two state-owned oil giants, namely the China National Petroleum Corporation and China Petrochemical Corporation.
(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2007)