PetroChina pledges supply hike to ease oil shortages

Updated: 2007-11-21 11:09

BEIJING - PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, has pledged to increase output and imports to ease domestic fuel shortages.

Many filling stations across the country are experiencing shortages, with refineries unwilling to raise output in light of low domestic prices.

Experts have said that the government should reform the oil pricing mechanism to reflect international levels.

PetroChina has ordered its subsidiaries to run at full capacity and exceed output targets, a company source said on Tuesday.

The oil giant will buy more fuel from other local refineries, boost imports and curb gasoline and diesel exports to ensure domestic supplies, the source noted.

The company recently supplied an additional 35,000 tons of imported diesel to the nation's southern region, where fuel shortages are more acute.

Another 70,000 tons of imported diesel are expected to arrive in the region at the end of this month, the source said, adding the firm has imported more than 400,000 tons of refined oil through mid-November.

On Monday, China Petrochemical Corporation, better known as Sinopec Group, said it has also ordered subsidiaries to work at full capacity to refine 42 million tons of crude oil in the fourth quarter and to refine 200,000 tons more as scheduled in December .

Sinopec had planned to raise diesel production for November by cutting aviation fuel output by 80,000 tons. Its oil output for October was 198,000 tons above target.

Despite making losses, Sinopec said it will import 200,000 tons of diesel in December, following imports of 277,000 tons of refined oil this month. It halted imports of refined oil in September and October because domestic oil prices were below import prices.

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