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Oil Supply in China to Return to Normal Soon: NDRC

The oil supply on the domestic market will soon return to normal as China's major oil producers and local governments take concrete measures to ease shortages, said the country's top economic planning agency on Tuesday.

To increase supply, top Chinese oil producers PetroChina and Sinopec are running at full capacity and trying to draw on stockpiles as much as possible, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The two oil giants cut the supply of chemical oil to produce more diesel oil which is badly needed. They are cooperating with small, local refineries by providing crude oil and buying into oil products.

They have also pledged to provide sufficient oil to filling stations in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangdong and along some main trans-provincial expressways.

PetroChina has recently supplied an additional 20,000 tons of diesel oil to Yunnan Province and 7,000 tons to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in an effort to ensure their sugar production.

The NDRC told local governments to guarantee adequate oil supply to sectors directly related to people's livelihood, such as public transportation and food logistics.

It also ordered local governments to step up market supervision and crack down on gasoline retailers that withhold stocks and raise prices without government authorization.

Since October, many filling stations across China have experienced shortages, with refineries unwilling to raise output in light of low domestic prices.

But the country's oil demand is on the rise in winter as the need for heating fuel has increased pressure on the shortages.

At an executive meeting of the State Council earlier this month, presided over by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the government pledged to take a variety of measures to expand crude oil production and refining capacity to guarantee a supply of oil products.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2007)

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