BEIJING Dec 16 PetroChina Co Ltd
, China's second-largest refiner, was
running its refineries at full capacity and will buy more fuel
from external sources to cover ongoing domestic shortages, China
Petroleum Daily reported on Friday.
Current output of refined oil products was 268,000 tonnes
per day, up 2 percent from a year earlier, the newspaper said.
The newspaper is run by parent China National Petroleum Corp
In late October, PetroChina's daily oil products output was
265,000 tonnes, 9 percent higher than a year ago level.
The company will step up fuel purchases from external
sources after such purchases in November increased 63.2 percent
from a year earlier, the newspaper report said.
External sources mainly include private teapot refineries as
well as rival top Asian refiner Sinopec ,
according to industry officials.
PetroChina bought 5.6 million tonnes of diesel from external
sources in the third quarter of this year, up 51 percent from a
PetroChina has also imported 330,000 tonnes of diesel so far
this year, the newspaper report said.
Fuel supplies to domestic market from December 1 to 12 by
PetroChina grew 11.8 percent from a month earlier to 3.33
million tonnes and diesel supplies gained 7.6 percent to 2.19
million tonnes, the report said.
Although Chinese refineries are running at full rates and
state oil companies raised diesel imports, there are still
diesel shortages in some regions partly because refiners and
dealers held back sales anticipating the government would raise
retail fuel prices.
A 22-day moving average price of a basket of three crude oils
-- Brent, Dubai and Cinta -- which China uses as a guide for
setting fuel prices, rose 2.13 percent as of Friday, according
to consultancy C1 Energy, after almost hitting the trigger point
of 4 percent for a fuel price hike in late November and early
China's apparent demand for diesel were expected to increase
2.6 percent on year to 12.9 million tonnes in December and
overall oil products demand to rise 3.2 percent to 20.8 million
tonnes, the newspaper report said.
(Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Ken Wills)