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Refining stepped up by 12%
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PetroChina Co, the nation's biggest oil producer, is poised to increase crude oil refining volume by nearly 12 percent this year, according to its senior officials.


The company is expected to process some 120 million tons of oil this year, the company's vice-president Liu Hongbin told reporters at an exhibition for gas station equipment, new technologies and non-fuel operations in Beijing yesterday. The refining volume would reach 2.4 million barrels a day.


The estimate is also higher than a March forecast, which predicted the refining volume would reach 2.25 million barrels a day in 2007. The company processed 2.15 million barrels of oil a day last year.


China's crude oil output in October totaled 15.81 million tons, up 1.9 percent year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.


The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, earlier this month increased the prices of major oil products by 8 percent to encourage loss-making refiners to step up production and reduce shortages.


The revision was made to reduce the gap between soaring global crude prices and domestic fuel prices, the NDRC said.


Wang Xiaochuan, deputy director with the commerce ministry's commercial reform and development department, encouraged gas stations to improve their business in non-fuel sectors at yesterday's exhibition.


Non-fuel sectors, such as vehicle maintenance and convenience stores are expected to become a new profit source of domestic businesses, he said.


A series of forums on the development of gas stations in China will also be staged during the three-day expo.


(China Daily November 16, 2007)

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