SINGAPORE :China’s daily crude oil throughput rose to a one-year high in November, official data showed on Thursday, as refiners churned out more fuel for exports and two greenfield plants started up.
Refinery output came in at 59.61 million tonnes last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), equivalent to 14.505 million barrels per day (bpd), just off 14.512 million bpd in the same period last year which was the second-highest on record.
The peak was inked at 14.8 million tonnes in June 2021.
Throughput in the first 11 months of 2022 was 615.99 million tonnes, equal to about 13.46 million bpd, a level that remained 4 per cent below the level a year-ago owing to eight months of year-on-year production drops between January and August.
State refiners that control most of fuel export quotas started ramping up productions, of diesel fuel in particular, to capture robust exports profits.
Total November refined fuel exports – including diesel, gasoline, aviation fuel and fuel oil – hit the highest monthly rate since June 2021.
November production was also supported by the start-up of PetroChina’s new 200,000-bpd crude facility and Shenghong Petrochemical’s 320,000-bpd plant, although it may take another few months for them to reach commercial operations.
NBS data also showed natural gas production rose 8.6 per cent last month from a year ago to 18.9 billion cubic metres, an eight-month high, as state oil majors ramped up drilling to supply winter heating demand. Year-to-date output was up 6.4 per cent over the corresponding period of 2021.
Meantime, crude oil production remained firmly above the 4 million bpd mark, a level regarded by the state-dominated sector as strategic to ensure domestic supply security as companies stepped up developing more challenging reservoirs.
November output gained 2.9 per cent from the same month a year earlier to 16.78 million tonnes, or 4.08 million bpd. Year-to-date production rose 3 per cent from a year earlier to 187.77 million tonnes, or 4.1 million bpd.
(1 tonne = 7.3 barrels for crude oil conversion)