October 19, 2017 / 6:59 AM / a year ago

China refineries run at record September pace: stats bureau

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s oil refineries increased their run rates by 12.7 percent to a record for September, data showed on Thursday, after a major new state-run refinery launched operations and independent plants came back on stream after maintenance.

FILE PHOTO: Employees close a valve of a pipe at a PetroChina refinery in Lanzhou, Gansu province January 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Processing volumes in September were up 12.7 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago at 49.34 million tonnes, or 12 million barrels per day (bpd). That was also an increase on August’s 11.1 million bpd, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

For the first three quarters of the year, refinery output rose 4.7 percent from the same period last year to 418.4 million tonnes.

China National Offshore Oil Co’s 200,000-bpd Huizhou plant, in southern Guangdong province, started test runs in late September, becoming the second new major refinery brought on stream this year.

PetroChina started trial production at its 260,000 bpd Yunnan plant, near the southwestern city of Kunming, at end of June.

Meanwhile domestic crude oil production fell 2.9 percent on year to 15.53 million tonnes, or 3.78 million bpd.

Natural gas production rose 10.7 percent in September over the same month a year ago to 11.2 billion cubic meters.

Reporting by Josephine Mason, Stella Qiu and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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