BP Drops Plans to Invest in China Refinery Project, IEA Says

BP Plc dropped plans to invest in a refinery in China and “dismantled” a team assigned to the project late last month, said the International Energy Agency.

BP had considered investing in the 200,000 barrel-a-day Qinzhou plant operated by PetroChina Co., according to the IEA, an energy adviser to developed nations. The refinery in the southern province of Guangxi started operations in 2010 and is currently being upgraded to handle a wider range of feedstock, it said in its monthly Oil Market Report yesterday.

David Nicholas, a BP spokesman in London, declined to comment on the report yesterday.

Chinese and international oil companies are reconsidering their refinery-investment plans as the Asian nation’s oil consumption expanded at the slowest pace in six years in 2013, according to the IEA. About 4.3 million barrels a day of primary distillation capacity was scheduled for completion by 2018, “by far exceeding” demand projections, it said.

“Growing concerns over the risks of oversupply in the Chinese fuels market have led at least four projects to be canceled in recent months,” according to the report.

PetroChina’s plans to build a refinery and petrochemical complex in east China with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Qatar Petroleum International Ltd. stalled last year amid land issues, the Paris-based agency said.

China’s biggest oil producer also delayed two new refineries originally scheduled to start operations this year, data from CNPC, the parent company, showed on Dec. 12. The Kunming plant, with a crude-processing capacity of 10 million tons a year, will begin operations in 2016 while the Jieyang facility, a joint venture with Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, has been postponed to 2017.

— With assistance by Jing Yang

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