By an OGJ Online Correspondent
BEIJING, Dec. 28 -- PetroChina Co. Ltd. is planning to raise its refinery operations for 2002 to an average 83% from last year's 79%.
PetroChina's refineries are eager to run at higher levels next year in order to raise their revenues.
However, the plan will be subject to adjustment based on domestic demand. Resumption of diesel imports next year will affect the refineries' operational rate.
According to the commitment China made in order to earn its World Trade Organization membership, it will import about 22 million tons of oil products in 2002. Of those total imports, 4 million tons will likely be diesel, which China has banned from importation since 1998 to protect domestic refineries.
At the end of June, PetroChina was operating about 95 million tonnes/year of refining capacity, down from 111.23 million tonnes at the end of last year, following closures of some small and inefficient refineries (OGJ Online, July 23, 2001).