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China To Tighten Regulation Of Oil, Natural Gas, And Power Monopolies

China plans to tighten regulation of monopolies in the oil and gas and power sectors, among other vital industries, a commission of the Communist party has decided.   

The meeting of the commission, which is focused on economic reforms, has decided that the oil and gas and power industries, as well as railways and other sectors, could be easily monopolized but are crucial to the Chinese economy led by state-controlled companies, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday.

China has also recently signaled it would further tighten control over its $61 trillion financial sector.  

“It was noted at the meeting that strengthening the centralized, unified leadership of the Party Central Committee over the financial work is the guarantee for its good performance,” the Chinese government said last week.  

In the oil and gas and power sectors, the largest companies in China are state-owned, including China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, the world’s largest refiner by capacity, and oil and gas giants CNOOC and CNPC.

Central government planning determines the investments and the search for new discoveries of China’s state-controlled oil and gas companies, the exports of fuels of Chinese refiners which are allocated quotas to ship up to specific volumes of fuels overseas, and part of the imports of crude oil under a quota allocation, typically in several batches each year.

In early October, China issued a fourth batch of crude oil import quotas, with which it raised the 2023 total quota volumes to 203.64 million metric tons, refinery sources told Reuters last month. The latest batch of import quotas lifted the overall 2023 quota volumes by 14% compared to the allocations for 2022.

The fresh batch of quotas and high fuel demand during a week-long holiday boosted China’s crude oil imports by 13.5% year-over-year in October, customs data showed on Tuesday.


By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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