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China In-Focus — Asian giant issues new oil import quotas for private refineries; Sinopec produces first biojet fuel

BEIJING: China has issued 52.66 million tons of crude oil import quotas to non-state refiners in a second batch of allotments for 2022, up 49 percent from the same slot last year, four people with knowledge of the matter said.

The new allowances bring China’s total non-state import quotas to 161.69 million tons so far this year, compared to 157.83 million tons during the same period of 2021.

Thirty-six refiners have been granted the quotas, with mega-refinery Zhengjiang Petroleum and Chemical Corp. and Hengli Petrochemical receiving the most, at 10 million tons and 6 million tons respectively.

Sinopec produces first biojet fuel at east China refinery

China’s Sinopec Corp. produced its first aviation fuel from used cooking oil at an industrial-scale facility in east China, the state refining giant said on Tuesday.

The biojet facility, built in Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co. and able to process 100,000 tons of used cooking oil or “gut oil” each year, paves the way for Sinopec to start commercial manufacturing of the biofuel.

Biojet fuel cuts the emission of carbon dioxide by more than half over the whole lifecycle, Sinopec added.

Sinopec began developing the fuel in 2009 and in 2014 won the country’s first airworthiness certificate for the fuel.

The International Energy Agency predicted in late 2021 that global biojet demand could range between 2 to 6 billion liters by 2026, up from around 0.1 billion liters.

PetroChina may sell Australian, Canadian assets to stem losses

PetroChina may sell out from natural gas projects in Australia and oil sands in Canada to stem losses and divert funds to more lucrative sites in the Middle East, Africa and central Asia, Reuters reported quoting two people familiar with the matter.

PetroChina’s plan follows a similar strategic shift by smaller state peer CNOOC Ltd., which was preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the US because of concerns the assets could become subject to Western sanctions.

The sales follow an internal review of PetroChina’s global portfolio that began last year, the two sources said, declining to be named as the discussions are not public.

Unlike CNOOC’s sales, PetroChina’s divestitures are driven more by the assets’ disappointing economics than any fear of US sanctions as it does not own any oil and gas assets in the US, though political strains with Australia and Canada also played a part, they said.

The state oil and gas major hopes to sell some of these assets, which have incurred billions of dollars of losses and are in areas where the company cannot easily compete, in the next two years, the sources said.

“Australian gas assets — both Arrow Energy and Browse — are considered among the top ‘negative assets’ in PetroChina’s global portfolio. It’s also an area where CNPC has little competitive edge,” said one of the sources.


(With input from Reuters) 

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