— corrected rpt —

(Russia was China’s No.1 supplier, not Saudi Arabia, correcting 2ndgraf) NRG-OIL-KUWAIT-CHINA Kuwait’s crude oil exports to China up 35.1 percent TOKYO, June 22 (KUNA) — Kuwait’s crude oil exports to China in May surged 35.1 percent from a year earlier to 1.45 million tons, equivalent to around 344,000 barrels per day (bpd), government data showed. Kuwaiti shipments of crude oil to China exceeded 300,000 bpd level for the first time in two months, according to the General Administration of Customs. China’s overall imports of crude oil in January grew 38.7 percent from a year earlier to 7.63 million bpd. Russia remained China’s top supplier in the reporting month, with its shipments jumping 33.8 percent on the year to 1.24 million bpd, followed by Saudi Arabia with 965,000 bpd, up 33.6 percent. Iraq became third, with imports from the country growing 56.6 percent to 805,000 bpd. Angola ranked fourth and Oman fifth, respectively.
Despite economic slowdown, China remains a major oil importer and consumer. Last year, the world’s second-largest oil consumer began to allow local independent refineries, known as “teapot” refiners, to import crude oil as part of its energy reforms. Qualified local refineries are allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities.
These private refiners are with relatively small capacities, ranging from 20,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. According to the US Energy Information Administration, such smaller, independent refineries account for more than 20 percent of China’s total refinery capacity. (end) mk.rk