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China refinery output rises slightly in October; 2nd consecutive month of year-over-year growth

China’s crude oil throughput rose 0.8 percent year-on-year in October for a second straight month of year-over-year growth, data showed Tuesday, as refiners ramped up processing to process more refined fuel to export and a greenfield refinery with test runs began.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), refinery production was 58.62 million tons in October, equivalent to 13.8 million barrels per day (bpd), slightly down from 13.82 million barrels per day in September.

Throughput in the first 10 months of 2022 was 555.88 million tonnes, equivalent to approximately 13.35 million bpd, a level that remained 4.5 percent below the year-ago level due to eight months of year-on-year production declines between January and August.

Refineries increased refined fuel exports in October 13 percent year-on-year to about 4.46 million metric tons, the third-highest monthly figure this year, spurred by the government’s additional release of a host of export quotas.

PetroChina Guangdong Petrochemical started test production at one of its 200,000 barrels per day crude oil units in late October.

Meanwhile, growth in fuel exports, set to rise further in November, also motivated the country’s independent refiners to keep their throughput rates at least at 65 to 70 percent, according to estimates by Chinese consultancy JLC.

NBS data also showed natural gas production rose 12.3 percent last month from October 2021 to 18.5 billion cubic meters, the highest monthly figure since March, as national producers ramped up drilling with the start of the northern winter heating season. -China.

Production from January to October was 6 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 2021.

To secure winter supplies amid the sweltering global spot gas market, China plans to ramp up domestic production, fill gas storage facilities and increase imports of cheaper pipeline gas from Russia and Central Asia.

Meanwhile, crude oil production remained firmly above the 4 million bpd mark, a level seen as strategic by the state-dominated sector to ensure domestic security of supply as companies developed more challenging reservoirs.

Production in October rose 2.5 percent from the same month a year earlier to 17.22 million tons, or 4.06 million barrels per day. Year-to-date, production was up 3 percent from a year earlier to 170.98 million tons, or 4.1 million barrels per day.

(1 ton = 7.3 barrels of crude oil conversion)