* 2012 apparent crude demand seen up 5.3 pct, vs 3.5 pct in 2011
* Oil refining capacity at 11.8 mln bpd at end 2011
* Gas demand seen up 15.3 pct in 2012 (Adds details on oil product demand in fourth and fifth paragraphs)
BEIJING, Jan 11 (Reuters) - China’s apparent crude oil consumption could accelerate in 2012 from a year earlier due to ongoing strong demand for energy and chemical products, forecasts from an industry association showed on Wednesday.
The China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation estimated that apparent crude consumption will increase 5.3 percent year on year to 480 million tonnes in 2012, or 9.6 million barrels per day, compared with its forecast of a rise of around 3.5 percent in 2011.
Oil consuming industries including automobile, aviation and marine transportation will keep expanding and demand in basic chemical industries will maintain strong growth momentum, the federation said in a press conference.
It forecast demand for three key oil products — gasoline, diesel and kerosene — at 280 million tonnes in 2012, a 5.8 percent rise from the prior year.
The association didn’t give details on the growth forecast for other products.
Oil refining capacity in the world’s second-largest oil consuming country rose 6.9 percent at the end of 2011 from the prior year to 590 million tonnes, or 11.8 million bpd, the industry group said.
Chinese refineries will process 470 million tonnes of crude oil in 2012, or 9.4 million bpd, up 5 percent from a year earlier.
Natural gas output is expected to increase around 11 percent year on year to 113 billion cubic metres (bcm) and crude oil production to gain 1.5 percent to over 200 million tonnes, it said.
The group also forecast that China’s natural gas consumption would rise 15.3 percent in 2012 to 148.2 bcm and ethylene demand to rise 13.6 percent on year to 18.5 million tonnes. (Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Ken Wills and Jonathan Hopfner)