April 18th, 2007 | Xinhua Non-State firms licensed for oil import
Fifteen non-state-owned Chinese companies will be granted
crude oil import licenses this year, according to an official with the
Ministry of Commerce.
The action is in line with China’s promise to open its oil market after
its accession to the World Trade Organization, Wu Guohua, deputy chief
of the ministry’s policy research office, was quoted as saying by
Wednesday’s Shanghai Securities News.
Wu declined to give the names of the 15 oil companies.
Currently, only five large state-owned firms have crude oil import
licenses, said Wu. They are China National Petroleum Corp., China Petroleum
and Chemical Corp., China National Offshore Oil Corp., Sinochem Corp.,
and Zhuhai Zhen Rong Company.
Wu said crude oil importers must meet strict standards including total
oil storage capacity of at least 200,000 cubic meters and must sign
long-term contracts with big oil refiners.
Analysts said the issuance of crude import licenses to non-state-owned
firms will help the country speed up its buildup of strategic oil
The Eleventh Five-Year Plan for Energy Development (2006-2010) released
on April 10 by the National Development and Reform Commission, the top
economic planner, calls on companies to develop commercial oil
reserves amid efforts to offset surging oil prices and prepare for possible