May 15, 2019 / 3:20 AM / 12 days ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-China crude oil throughput hits record in April

(Corrects paragraph 2 to show crude runs rose by 5%, not 15%)

* Throughput numbers boosted by independent refiners

* But crude production fell from March

* April gas output at lowest since October 2018

BEIJING, May 15 (Reuters) - China’s crude oil throughput rose to record daily levels in April, government data showed on Wednesday, buoyed by rising production at private refiners including a mammoth new facility in the country’s northeast.

Refinery runs rose 5% from the year before to 52.1 million tonnes, or 12.68 million barrels per day (bpd), matching record daily levels racked up earlier this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Privately owned Hengli Petrochemical Co Ltd started trial runs around five months ago at its 400,000 bpd plant in northeast China, with production expected to hit full capacity later this month.

“Throughput at Hengli and ... teapot refineries increased significantly,” said Wang Zhao, head of crude oil research at Sublime Information Co. Independent refiners in China are often referred to as ‘teapots’.

The return of refineries after maintenance also contributed to the higher runs in April, said Wang.

For the first four months of 2019, crude runs were up 4.7% from a year earlier at 207.47 million tonnes, or 12.62 million bpd, the data showed.

Crude oil output stood at 15.71 million tonnes, or 3.82 million bpd, down from 3.89 million bpd in March.

Natural gas output came in at 14.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) in April, up 7.9% from the same month a year earlier, but the lowest level since October 2018 due to slower demand towards summer. (Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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