18  October  2018

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 Infopetro -> Industry in Focus

China June Oil Refinery Throughput Close to Record


China's oil refineries ramped up throughput in June to

the second highest on record, with some independent

plants raising output even as state oil majors prepare to

take drastic steps to cut production during the peak

summer season.

Throughput last month reached 46.08 million tonnes, or

11.21 million barrels per day (bpd), a 2.3-percent rise

year-on-year and up from May's 10.98 million bpd, data

from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on


That was just shy of December's record volume of 11.26

million bpd.

The higher throughput came after another month of strong

crude oil imports and as top refineries prepared to cut

output in the third quarter.

"Refinery runs were impressive considering that refinery

maintenance was still heavy," said Nevyn Nah, analyst at

Energy Aspects.

Independent refiners, known as 'teapots', raised their

runs after receiving additional crude import quotas,

while oil majors kept their throughput roughly flat year

on-year, he said.

For the first six months, refinery production in the

world's second-largest fuel consumer gained 3 percent

from a year earlier to 275.21 million tonnes, or about

11.1 million bpd.

Upcoming cuts to production by the oil majors will not be

as deep as many in the market expect, added Nah, because

the planned cuts were from very high levels in the first


The NBS data on Monday also showed domestic crude oil

output fell 2.3 percent last month versus a year ago to

16.21 million tonnes, or 3.94 million bpd, but up from

May's 3.83 million bpd.

Output during the January-June period was down 5.1

percent on-year at about 3.89 million bpd.

Declines in China's crude oil output have slowed as major

oil producers raised spending to boost production as oil

prices stablized in a $48-$55 per barrel range, and

analysts have forecast flat or positive production growth

for calendar 2017.

Natural gas output climbed 14.6 percent in June from a

year earlier to 11.5 billion cubic metres (bcm), but

marked the lowest level since October.

Natural gas production increased 8 percent from a year

earlier to 74.1 bcm for the January-June period, the data


China's gas consumption growth has been quickening since

the start of this year after a nearly three-year lull,

according to analysts, thanks to stronger demand from

industrial and power sectors under a government push to

wean them off their coal addiction.

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