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[ClickPress, Thu May 12 2016] China's long-term crude oil and liquids output will remain on a firm downtrend as low oil prices slowdown exploration and render certain high-cost mature and unconventional plays uneconomic. Outlook is more positive for natural gas, as the government seeks to increase the share of gas in the total energy mix. This will prompt domestic firms to ramp-up gas output accordingly, ensuring that growth remains robust over the short-to-medium term. Crude demand will remain strong, driven by continued stockpiling activity, greater teapot imports and robust domestic demand for gasoline, jet fuel/kerosene and petrochemical feedstock, which will drive elevated run rates at existing refineries.
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China's crude oil and liquids output will fall by 12.0% between 2016 and 2025, as sustained oil price weakness prompt the country's largest oil producers to pare back upstream investment and disengage from high-cost production activities.
An ambitious gas production target is expected to lead a 5.0% increase in gas output over 2016, as domestic firms ramp-up production activities accordingly.
China is set to add about 1.6mn b/d of new refining capacity over the next five years, though heavy underutilisation of existing capacity indicates substantial scope for downsizing.
Following a substantial cut to wholesale gas prices for non-residential users back in November 2015, the government is mulling another price reform, this time establishing a single wholesale price for all users at non-residential levels. This will bring domestic prices more in line with market rates, and help to stimulate greater demand from the industrial and power sector consumers.
Crude imports will remain strong as continued stockpiling activities, refining capacity additions, awarding of import licenses to the teapot refineries and strong domestic demand for gasoline keep China's appetite for imports elevated.
Gradual liberalisation of the LNG trade market will allow smaller, independent players to participate in LNG imports, posing upside risk to our already buoyant gas imports outlook for China. However, the expected ramp-up in import volumes from Turkmenistan and Russia will see pipeline gas maintain its dominance over LNG.
The China Oil & Gas Report has been researched at source and features BMI Research's independent forecasts for China including major indicators for oil, gas and LNG, covering all major indicators including reserves, production, consumption, refining capacity, prices, export volumes and values. The report includes full analysis of industry trends and prospects, national and multinational companies and changes in the regulatory environment.
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