Reports are suggesting that PetroChina’s planned 200,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) oil-refining project in southwestern China’s Guangxi province is developing smoothly, with construction almost 40% complete.

The oil refining industry is under increasing scrutiny at present, as discovered by the August issue of gasworld magazine, as the struggle to keep up with demand takes hold and rising prices hit consumers where it hurts - in the pocket.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that this demand for oil will continue to grow, reaching 118 million bpd in 2030 and with two-thirds of this growth down to transportation fuels. Asian countries, particularly China and India, are apparently expected to consume 43% of the extra oil supply.

A report from Marketwire now cites the ongoing Guangxi province refinery project as enabling Beijing’s PetroChina to have a presence in the booming market of southern China, which traditionally has been dominated by Sinopec.

Most of PetroChina’s crude oil processing facilities are in northeastern and western China, though the new facility will provide a foothold in the country’s southern region and the possibility of increasing industrial gas demand as a growth driver.

Industrial gases are utilised and linked to the oil refining business in a number of ways, with independent industrial gas consultancy the Spiritus Group suggesting that both Chemicals (and petrochemicals) and Refining as end-user sectors for the gases industry could see a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% each for the period 2006-2011.

There are over 700 refineries around the world and, as might be expected of the nation that uses 25% of all the world’s oil resources, the US has the largest number of refineries at around 130. It also boasts the greatest overall capacity at 16.7 million bpd, while Russia is the country with the next largest capacity (5.4 million bpd), followed by Japan (4.7 million bpd) and China (4.5 million bpd).