The Strategist

Bloomberg: China will become the world's largest oil refining country in the next year

11/23/2020 - 02:41

According to Bloomberg and analysts interviewed, the COVID-19 pandemic has "accelerated the tectonic shift in the global refining industry as demand for plastics and fuel increases in China and the rest of Asia, where economies are recovering rapidly from the pandemic".

In turn, refineries in the US and Europe are struggling with the effects of the deeper economic crisis, and their economies are gradually moving away from traditional fuels, which may indicate a decline in demand for oil in the long term.

Examples of such changes include the recent closure of a major refinery in American Louisiana by Royal Dutch Shell and the opening of a major refinery by Chinese company Rongsheng Petrochemical in Zhejiang Province. 

The project is reported to be just one of four new Chinese refineries with a combined capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day, equivalent to the current refinery capacity across the UK.

"In the near future China will increase its refining capacity," Steve Sawyer, Director of Refining Industry Analysis at Facts Global Energy consulting company, said in an interview with the agency, "China will overtake the USA at this rate in the next year or two".