China’s production of crude oil and natural gas rose to record levels between January and July this year, according to the government data quoted by Xinhua shows.
Oil production increased by 3.7 percent compared to the year before during the first seven months of the year and amounted to a total of 120 million tons. Natural gas production increased by 5.4 percent to 126.7 billion cubic meters.
Shale oil made up a larger share of total production this year than last, the data also showed. The share of shale oil rose by 14.4 percent during the seven months. Offshore oil also rose by 7.9 percent.
Meanwhile, imports of oil and natural gas were also relatively strong in the first seven months of the year despite some declines as the country continued to fight Covid flare-ups with its zero-Covid policy.
The zero-Covid policy hit the Chinese economy in the second quarter of the year, leading to sharp declines in manufacturing activity and consumption. It also led to a decline in oil imports, leading to concerns about the future of demand.
The latest oil import data, for July, shows a recovery after imports fell to a four-year low earlier in the year. Nevertheless, they were still weaker than at the start of 2022.
Imports of natural gas decreased during the first seven months of the year. The decline continued 9.5 percent to a total of 62.2 million tonnes as gas prices rose sharply.
Imports of liquefied natural gas fell markedly during the period by 20.3 percent, while imports of gas from pipelines rose by 10.8 percent, the latest tariff data showed.
Due to its heavy dependence on imported raw materials, China has made great efforts to increase the domestic supply of fossil fuels. Beijing redoubled this effort amid the energy crisis, as prices soared around the world.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
More top reads from Oilprice.com: