China's oil-refining industry swung to a profit last year after the world's second-biggest energy consumer introduced a new fuel-pricing mechanism in 2008.
The industry earned 72.9 billion yuan ($10.7 billion) compared with a loss of 145.7 billion yuan in 2008, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on its website. Profit for the petrochemical industry rose 14 percent to 171.8 billion yuan, it said.
China processed a record volume of crude oil last year after it introduced a mechanism in December 2008 that guarantees a profit for refiners. The country's domestic oil-product market may see a "slight" oversupply this year as refinery utilization rates remain high, China National Petroleum Corp said on Feb 4.
Profit for the oil and gas exploration industry fell 61 percent last year to 168.7 billion yuan, the ministry said. Crude oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 46 percent at the end of 2009 from a record $147.27 a barrel reached in July 2008.