China overtakes US as world’s largest oil refiner

As the shift in oil demand from COVID-19 turned the tables of regional levels of fuel production and exports, China succeeded in overtaking the USA as the world’s biggest oil refiner in 2020.

Iran PressAsia: As China began to ramp up its refining capacity throughout the pandemic, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published data showing that China processed more crude oil than the US for much of 2020.

While the USA suffered from a drop in demand throughout 2020, leading to a decrease in all oil-related activities, China benefited from this international shift. In contrast to the US, when oil prices fall, the Chinese government pays refiners to increase production levels.

China currently has at least four major new refineries under construction, most of which are expected to produce plastic feedstocks, such as ethylene and propylene.


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