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CNOOC ... raising output

CNOOC ... raising output

China crude output rises


China’s crude oil output rose in August for the first time in nearly three years, data showed, climbing after President Xi Jinping called for a boost to national energy security amid trade tensions with the United States.

Monthly crude oil output hit 16 million tonnes, or 3.77 mbpd, up 0.2 per cent from August last year and marking the first year-on-year increase in tonnes and barrels per day (bpd) since October 2015, according to the data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Year-to-date output was 125.95 million tonnes, down 1.8 per cent from a year earlier. That equates to 3.78 mbpd.

National energy majors raised output in August as international oil prices approached $80 a barrel and after the state call to ramp up local oil and gas output amid the escalating trade war with the United States, experts said.

'The state oil companies need to show some sort of support for President Xi’s call to boost domestic supplies,' said Seng-Yick Tee at consultancy SIA Energy.

Most Chinese oilfields can break even with oil at $70 per barrel, he added. Benchmark global prices stood at around $78.

The data also showed China’s crude processing rate fell in August to its lowest since December, with independent refiners prolonging maintenance shutdowns as higher oil prices and a new tax regime ate into margins.

China refined 50.31 million tonnes of crude oil in August, or 11.85 million barrels per day (mbpd), up 5.6 from a year ago. The pace of processing fell from 11.95 mbpd in July and compared with a record-high of 12.13 mbpd in March.

For the first eight months, crude runs were up 8.7 per cent at 400.41 million tonnes, or 12.03 mbpd.

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