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China October Refinery Output Edges Up

  • Oct crude runs +0.8% on year at 13.8 mln bpd
  • Jan-Oct throughput -4.5% on year due to cuts between Jan-Aug
  • Oct gas output at 7-month high as winter heating starts up
  • Crude oil output holds firmly above 4 mln bpd

Nov 15 (Reuters) - China's crude oil throughput rose 0.8% in October from a year earlier for a second straight month in year-on-year growth, data showed on Tuesday, as refiners ramped up processing to export more refined fuel and a greenfield refinery began test runs.

October refinery output stood at 58.62 million tonnes, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), equivalent to 13.8 million barrels per day (bpd), just below 13.82 million bpd in September.

Throughput in the first 10 months of 2022 was 555.88 million tonnes, equal to about 13.35 million bpd, a level that remained 4.5% below the level a year-ago owing to eight months of year-on-year production drops between January and August.

Refiners raised October refined fuel exports by 13% on the year to about 4.46 million tonnes, the third-highest monthly rate this year, spurred by the government's additional release of a large set of export quotas.

PetroChina Guangdong Petrochemical in late October started test production at one of its 200,000 bpd crude units.

Meanwhile the growth in fuel exports, poised to rise further in November, also motivated the country's independent refineries to at least maintain their processing rates at a range of 65% to 70%, according to estimates by Chinese consultancy JLC.

NBS data also showed natural gas production rose 12.3% last month from October 2021 to 18.5 billon cubic metres, the highest monthly rate since March, as national producers ramped up drilling with the winter heating season kicking off in northern China.

January-October output was up 6% over the corresponding period of 2021.

To secure winter supplies amid the red-hot global spot gas market, China is set to set to ramp up domestic production, fill up gas storage facilities and increase imports of cheaper pipeline gas from Russia and Central Asia.

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.

October output rose 2.5% from the same month a year earlier to 17.22 million tonnes, or 4.06 million bpd. Year-to-date production gained 3% from a year earlier to 170.98 million tonnes, or 4.1 million bpd.

(1 tonne = 7.3 barrels for crude oil conversion)

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

Source: Reuters

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