China will allow more refiners to apply for licenses to directly import crude oil, the country's commerce ministry said on Thursday, as Beijing continues to loosen its grip on a sector long dominated by state-owned enterprises.
Companies that meet certain environmental and capacity requirements can now apply for import licenses, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website (mofcom.gov.cn).
Imports under so-called "non-state trade" will be limited to around 752,000 bpd for 2015 late last year. China imported a total of 6.16 million bpd in 2014.
(Source: Reuters dated 23 July 2015)