Business / Policy Watch

Nation edges toward ending State monopoly on oil

By Lyu Chang (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-05 06:51

Nation edges toward ending State monopoly on oil

A facility of Guanghui Energy Co Ltd in Xinjiang. The business scope of the largest private firm in Xinjiang covers energy, vehicles and real estate. Cai Zengle / For China Daily

China is inching closer to ending the State monopoly in the oil sector after it allowed a Xinjiang-based private energy firm to import crude oil, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Nation edges toward ending State monopoly on oil

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Guanghui Energy Co Ltd, the largest private firm in Xinjiang, with a wide range of businesses covering energy, vehicles and real estate, has got the green light from the State Council, China's cabinet, to import crude oil, the China Business News reported on Tuesday quoting an unnamed company official.

The energy firm, which is the only non State-owned company in China with upstream oil and gas assets, is also seeking oil exploration rights to fully enhance its oil production chain.

A spokesman of the Xinjiang-based company, however, declined to comment on the issue.

Before 2011, China had been gradually increasing the amount of non-State imports to serve the few refineries that are not controlled by China's two State-owned refining giants.

"China is moving toward a milestone as the permission given to the Xinjiang-based company enables it to import crude oil directly from its overseas fields and also refine it in oil refineries not owned by the two oil majors - China National Petroleum Corp, or PetroChina, and Sinopec Group. What this means is that Guanghui Energy will now have more say in the upstream industry," said Yan Pengfei, a senior analyst at the industry services department of Guan Tong Futures Co Ltd.

The crude oil license of the gas and property conglomerate is mainly for its oil and gas fields in Central Asia, experts said.

In 2009, Guanghui Energy purchased a 49 percent stake in Kazakhstan's Tarbagatay Munai LLP for about 303 million yuan ($48.6 million) to develop an oil and gas field covering about 8,300 sq m in eastern Kazakhstan.

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