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24

PetroChina To Expand In Refining

PetroChina, the nation's biggest oil producer, plans to incre1se its share of the domestic oil refining market to 45 percent by 2020 as demand for fuels and chemicals rises

PetroChina, the nation's biggest oil producer, plans to increase its share of the domestic oil refining market to 45 percent by 2020 as demand for fuels and chemicals rises.

The State-controlled oil company will more than double annual refining capacity to 300 million tons by 2020, about 6 million barrels a day, Vice-President Shen Diancheng said yesterday. PetroChina currently accounts for about 40 percent of the nation's oil refining.

PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, are boosting chemical production to supply manufacturers in the world's fastest growing economy. Rising wealth is driving increased sales of cars and pushing up consumption of gasoline and diesel. China will have to double refining capacity by 2020 to meet demand, Shen said.

Sinopec plans to expand the capacity of its largest crude-oil processing plant by 15 percent by September next year to boost production of ethylene and fuels, its parent company said yesterday.

Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co's annual capacity will rise to 23 million metric tons, about 460,000 barrels a day, from 20 million tons, China Petrochemical Corp said in its company newsletter Sinopecnews.

PetroChina and Sinopec are expanding even as State curbs on fuel prices and record crude oil costs limit their ability to profit from selling fuels in the world's most populous nation. China controls fuel prices to limit their impact on inflation.

Rivals of PetroChina and Sinopec are increasing their market presence. China National Offshore Oil Corp, which has concentrated on oil and gas exploration, aims to increase its refining capacity fivefold to 60 million tons, Zhang Guoxiang, senior engineer at the company's Huizhou refinery, said recently.