|Kuwait's crude oil exports to China skyrocketed 139.7 percent in June from a year earlier to a record high of 1.26 million tons, equivalent to around 308,000 barrels per day (bpd), becoming China's sixth-biggest crude supplier, the latest government data showed. The previous record was 264,000 bpd logged in April.
Kuwait provided 5.6 percent of China's total crude oil imports, compared with 3.2 percent in the same month of last year and 3.3 percent in May, according to the General Administration of Customs. Kuwait's exports in the first half of 2010 reached 203,000 bpd, up 23.8 percent from the same period last year.
China's overall imports of crude jumped 34.1 percent year-on-year to a record of 5.44 million bpd in June. Angola returned to China's top supplier with its shipments expanding 24 percent from a year earlier to 913,000 bpd, followed by Saudi Arabia with 897,000 bpd, up 25 percent. Iran became third, with imports from the country falling 6.7 percent to 423,000 bpd.
China is the world's second-biggest oil consumer after the US. The Chinese government in May gave preliminary approval to state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its partner Sinopec for a nine billion US dollars oil refinery project in south China's Guangdong Province, to which Kuwait is expected to supply all the crude. As the project is included in the China's 11 Five Year Plan (2006-2010), preparatory work for final approval is currently in full swing. The Environmental Impact Assessment and the Project Application Report, submitted by the alliance late April to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, must be approved before Beijing's final nod.
The planned project, which could be China's biggest joint venture in its kind, includes a 300,000 bpd refinery, ethylene cracker with the capacity of one million ton per year and a retail network in and around the province.