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Oil & Gas Industry

Chinese Oil Companies on Shopping Spree Abroad

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Sinopec owns a 37.5% interest in Saudi Aramco’s 400,000 barrel/day refinery at Yanbu, planned to start up by 2015. Sinopec became the minority partner in this project after ConocoPhillips pulled out in 2009. The company is further said to be interested in buying a 10% stake in Spanish integrated oil company Repsol, although no deal has been closed yet.

China's domestic refinery markets are booming: The country's demand for oil products has grown steadily since 2004 with a temporary peak of 1.9 million barrels per day in February, according to International Energy Agency data. In contrast, China’s February 2004 gasoline demand was 1.1 million b/d.

Refinery Markets in Asia Boom

The demand for diesel and gasoil in China peaked at 3.6 million barrel/day in November 2011, from 1.8 million barrel/day in January of 2004. The country’s kerosene demand hit its peak demand at 357,000 barrel/day in January of 2011, nearly doubling January 2004’s level of 223,000 barrel.

China's Oil Industry Establishes Global Presence

But there are other reasons for the Chinese oil industry to go on shopping spree abroad: Most of these companies have already established trading arms in the major commerce centers of the oil trading world in London, New York, Switzerland, Singapore, Dubai and Houston and are actively engaged in trading cargoes, barges and pipeline positions of crude oil and refined products.

By having physical assets in key locations around the world along with trading acumen, the Chinese companies are in a much better position to supply the needs of an increasingly energy-hungry world, market insiders say...

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