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China’s crude oil and natural gas production rose to a record high between January and July this year, government data cited by Xinhua shows.
Oil production was up 3.7 percent on the year in the first seven months of the year, totaling 120 million tons. Natural gas production was up 5.4 percent to 126.7 billion cubic meters.
Shale oil made up a bigger part of the total output this year than last, the data also showed. The share of shale oil rose by 14.4 percent over the seven months. Offshore crude also rose, by 7.9 percent.
Meanwhile, oil and natural gas imports were also relatively strong in the first seven months of the year despite a few dips as the country continued to fight Covid flare-ups with its zero-Covid policy.
The zero-Covid policy pummelled the Chinese economy during the second quarter of the year, leading to sharp drops in manufacturing activity and consumer spending. It also led to a decline in oil imports, prompting concern about the future of demand.
The latest oil import data, for July, shows a rebound after imports dropped to the lowest in four years earlier in the year. Yet they were still weaker than at the start of 2022.
Imports of natural gas were down during the first seven months of the year. The decline stood at 9.5 percent to a total of 62.2 million metric tons as gas prices rose sharply.
Imports of liquefied natural gas notably fell during the period by 20.3 percent, while pipeline gas imports rose by 10.8 percent, the latest customs data showed.
Because of its heavy dependence on imported commodities, China has been putting a lot of effort into boosting the domestic supply of fossil fuels. Beijing doubled down on this effort amid the energy crunch, as prices skyrocketed around the world.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com