China refineries run at record Sept pace

BEIJING (Reuters) — China's oil refineries increased their run rates by 12.7% to a record for September, data showed on Thursday, after a major new state-run refinery launched operations and independent plants came back on stream after maintenance.

Processing volumes in September were up 12.7% in September compared with the same month a year ago at 49.34 MMt, or 12 MMbpd. That was also an increase on August's 11.1 MMbpd, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

For the first three quarters of the year, refinery output rose 4.7% from the same period last year to 418.4 MMt.

China National Offshore Oil Co's 200,000-bpd Huizhou plant, in southern Guangdong province, started test runs in late September, becoming the second new major refinery brought on stream this year.

PetroChina started trial production at its 260,000 bpd Yunnan plant, near the southwestern city of Kunming, at end of June.

Meanwhile domestic crude oil production fell 2.9% on year to 15.53 MMt, or 3.78 MMbpd.

Natural gas production rose 10.7% in September over the same month a year ago to 11.2 Bcm.

Reporting by Josephine Mason, Stella Qiu and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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