September 20, 2019 / 10:35 AM / a month ago

China has enough oil inventories to last about 80 days: NEA

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has around 80 days of oil in storage, including those in its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), oil storage at oil firms and commercial stocks, a National Energy Administration (NEA) official said on Friday.

China, the world’s biggest importer of crude oil, will complete building the second phase of its strategic oil storages in 2020, Li Fulong, NEA’s head of development and planning, told a news conference.

Li said China had enough oil to last about 80 days, slightly less than the 90 days recommended by International Energy Agency for its members. Beijing has not joined the IEA.

Based on January-August import levels, 80 days’ worth of oil imports by China would equate to about 788 million barrels, according to Reuters calculations.

China rarely releases oil inventory information. It last gave an update on its emergency oil stockpile in December 2017.

NEA director Zhang Jianhua told the same news conference that recent attacks on oil facilities in top exporter Saudi Arabia would not impact China’s oil supply.

“It is not that we depend on one certain country or region. Looking at the current situation, even if Saudi Arabia is attacked, it will not affect China’s crude oil supply,” Zhang said, adding China could “import large amounts of oil and gas” from the United States if there was no trade war.

The NEA falls under the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s macroeconomic planner and a super ministry.

The administration maps out industry policies including five-year development plans for the oil, gas, coal and renewable sectors. It also administers the national strategic petroleum reserve.

Reporting by Tom Daly; Additional reporting by Aizhu Chen and Muyu Xu; Writing by Shivani Singh; Editing by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair

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