The expected operation of four refineries each with a processing capacity of 10 million tons or more will greatly boost the growth of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in 2008, said a senior official of the country's largest oil producer on Friday.
The four refineries are located in Dalian, Fushun, Dushanzi and Qinzhou. The first three are being expanded and the last is a new one being built.
CNPC deputy general manager Zhou Jiping said the company also plans to kick off the construction of another super refinery this year in Sichuan province in southwest China. Its capacity shall also exceed 10 million tons.
CNPC expects to raise its crude production by one million tons and natural gas output by 11.5 billion cubic meters in the coming year.
Priority must be given to the development of new oilfields as well as stabilization of the output of old ones if the crude production target is to be met, said Zhou.
"The year of 2008 stands for a pivotal juncture for CNPC, during which a number of major projects will be carried out and all these strategic programs are vital to improving the production pattern and enhancing competitive strength of the company," Zhou said.
In 2007, sales of natural gas grew 21.3 percent over the previous year and became CNPC's fastest-growing business, he said.
The assets of CNPC hit 1.54 trillion yuan ($212.4 billion) as at the end of 2007, up 7.1 percent year on year. Its newly-installed production capacities of crude oil and natural gas hit 13.66 million tons and 10.3 billion cubic meters, respectively.
Profit generated by overseas exploration and drilling also increased quickly, Zhou said without elaborating.
With overseas projects extending to Africa, central Asia, the Middle East, America and Asia-Pacific region, the company earlier this month vowed to speed up its overseas expansion while maintaining domestic output growth.