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16

Sinopec Hires More Oil Tankers than World's Biggest Oil Company

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. may hire more supertankers than Exxon Mobil Corp. this year

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. may hire more supertankers than Exxon Mobil Corp. this year to haul oil from Angola and Venezuela.

China will expand refining capacity 25 percent by 2010 to increase gasoline and diesel supplies after vehicle sales more than tripled in five years. That's increased imports of crude oil on VLCCs to meet consumption as output from aging domestic fields stagnates.

China International United Petroleum, the Beijing-based trading arm of Sinopec, hired 103 VLCCs in the single-voyage, or spot, market in 2006, up from 86 in 2005 and 56 in 2004, according to figures compiled by New York-based Poten. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, hired 149 VLCCs in 2006, 118 in 2005 and 134 in 2004.