PetroChina to Import More Diesel to Ease Shortfall

PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, is planning additional diesel imports to help ease a domestic shortage after buying 200,000 metric tons from overseas.

Additional diesel will be imported “according to market needs,” China National Petroleum Corp., PetroChina’s parent, said in a statement on its website today, without giving a schedule. One 35,000-ton cargo has already arrived, CNPC said.

China is battling a shortage of the fuel as demand from farmers increases during the autumn harvest and factories turn to their own diesel-powered generators after some local authorities shut power supplies to save energy. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, has halted diesel exports, parent China Petrochemical Corp. said on Nov. 19.

PetroChina will increase oil processing volumes at its Lanzhou, Dalian, Guangxi and Qingyang plants, CNPC said. Scheduled maintenance at its Lanzhou refinery will be delayed until December, according to CNPC.

More than 2,000 service stations closed after running out of diesel, the official Xinhua News agency said on Nov. 7. Supplies in other cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Dalian and Wuhan are also tight, according to Xinhua.

China’s daily diesel consumption averaged 420,000 tons in the first nine months, according to Bloomberg calculations based on government data. Monthly diesel imports averaged 126,666 tons in the January to September period.

PetroChina has diverted 206,000 tons of diesel from northeastern China to the southern and eastern provinces including Zhejiang and Guangdong, CNPC said.

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