China’s State Council has given its permission for private firms to import crude oil. This year it allows 10 private companies to import up to 30 million tons of crude oil as part of the government’s liberalization policy. The 10 enterprises will be granted oil-import franchises, allowing them to import oil through the China National Petroleum Corporation and Sinopec. Last year only one private enterprise, Guanghui Energy, was allowed to import crude oil. Under the terms of the licence, Guanghui could import crude oil directly from its own oil project in Kazakhstan and sell it to refineries in China.
Analysts said allowing private firms to import oil would help address oil demands of municipal oil-refining enterprises.
Source: Shanghai Business Review, June 2015, Volume 12: Issue 5.