BEIJING — China’s Ministry of Commerce on May 23 published the names of 11 private refineries with a plan to allow them to directly import crude oil.
The ministry said it has examined the firms’ applications and found them in accordance with requirements.
The refineries are located in the provinces of Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Henan and Hubei.
China is one of the world’s largest oil buyers. Over 60 percent of its oil comes from imports. Crude imports are dominated by State-run giants Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation and China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
The country gave private refineries the green light to directly import crude in 2015 as the government tried to attract private capital into the largely monopolized sector.
In 2018, the quota for non-State crude oil imports rose to 142 million tons, 55 percent higher than that for 2017.
Customs data showed China imported 420 million tons of crude oil in 2017, up 10.1 percent year-on-year.