China welcomes foreign oil and gas companies to continue investing in the country as the undergoing oil and gas industry reform is believed to bring more opportunities for cooperation.
Foreign companies are welcome to invest in China in oil and gas exploration, production capacity construction, oil and gas management and reserves, science and technology research and talent training in the sector, said Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration, on Sept 18 at the 2017 International Petroleum and Natural Gas Enterprises Conference in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.
China is currently implementing a reform plan for the country’s oil and gas industry, eyeing improved efficiency and competitiveness by giving the market a decisive role in the sector, including allowing private companies to take part in upstream oil-gas exploitation, encouraging midstream pipeline owners to split gas sales from pipeline business for more efficient allocation of resources.
As part of the reform, China (Zhejiang) Pilot FTZ and Northeast Asia Bonded Fuel Oil Trading Center started operation this April in Zhoushan, focusing on oil refueling by scaling up storage capacity, increasing the openness of the oil processing industry and boosting trade in oil products.
Zhoushan port’s bonded fuel oil supply reached 1.045 million metric tons by the end of August, a year-on-year increase of 62.4 percent, surpassing the all-year supply in 2016. The NABFOTC’s bonded fuel oil trade volume was about 1.8 million tons, while the natural gas got 1 million tons and steam coal about 5.2 million tons.
International oil and gas business giants see new opportunities in the FTZ.
A total of 14 foreign oil and gas enterprises have signed project or framework contracts with local governments, SOEs and private companies involving oil storage, trade and processing at the ongoing conference.
Honeywell, the world’s leading industrial giant, will invest in a new JV with the local Rongsheng Holdings to produce catalysts to support Rongsheng’s new refinery, which is designed to have an annual processing capacity of 40 million tons of crude oil.
BP has launched strategic cooperation with Zhejiang Energy Group. “We are still discussing with our partners to seek a proper project in the FTZ. And of course, I have full confidence on that,” said Yang Xiaoping, president of BP China and chairperson of BP (China) Holdings Ltd.
Dong Xiucheng, from China University of Petroleum, said the reform will give competitive firms easier market access whether they are State-owned, private or foreign.