Feng Fei, executive vice governor of Zhejiang, addresses the 3rd International Petroleum and Natural Gas Enterprises Conference in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province on Oct 18. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
As a significant economic powerhouse in China, Zhejiang is spearheading the development of the oil and gas industry, hoping to create a complete oil and gas industrial chain in the province with China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone at its core, according to Feng Fei, executive vice governor of Zhejiang.
Feng made the remarks while addressing the International Petroleum and Natural Gas Enterprises Conference in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province on Oct 18.
In 2018, Zhejiang consumed 17.88 million tons of refined oil and 13.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, official data shows.
Relying on preferential policies and an advantageous location, the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Zhoushan has emerged as a magnet for global oil and gas enterprises.
A total of 497 oil and gas companies from around the world have established a business presence in the zone since it was established in March 2017.
From January to August, the trade value of oil products in the zone reached 192.3 billion yuan ($28.7 billion), up 33.5 percent from last year, according to Feng.
The free trade zone's development reflects the increasingly important role China is playing in the global energy industry.
Last year, the nation imported more than 400 million tons of oil and 120 billion cubic meters of natural gas, making it the world's largest importer of the two natural resources.
Liu Baohua, deputy head of the National Energy Administration, pointed out that China – the world's largest energy producer and consumer – has long been committed to the high-quality and sustainable development of the energy industry, adding that the nation is ready to cement links with other countries in petroleum and gas development, trade and technological innovation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
IPEC, now in its third year, has grown to be a significant cooperation and exchange platform for oil and gas companies around the world.
This year's event attracted more than 680 representatives from 271 enterprises around the world, including 62 Fortune Global 500 companies, and witnessed the signing of 21 deals with a combined investment value of 56.76 billion yuan in the areas of oil trade, LNG and maritime services.
Jeremy Weir, chairman and CEO of Trafigura Group, noted that China's move to lift restrictions on the circulation of refined oil products has bolstered confidence among global investors, and Trafigura is upbeat about the country's future sustainable growth in the oil and gas industry.
Sharon Weintraub, CEO of BP Supply & Trading East Hemisphere, said China's supply side reform in the energy sector is accelerating the modernization of its refinery capacity, adding that the British company looks to partner with China in the clean energy industry in addition to traditional energy industries so as to confront global climate change.
Sharon Weintraub, CEO of BP Supply & Trading East Hemisphere, delivers a speech at the 3rd International Petroleum and Natural Gas Enterprises Conference in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province on Oct 18. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]