A draft of new regulations for China’s oil storage industry have been released by the government.
According to Reuters, the government is seeking to update storage policies issued in 2006, bring regulations for crude oil and oil products within a single framework.
The new regulations are seen as a way free up the sector from state-owned oil majors.
The main change suggested is to remove the requirement for distributors and storage companies to have secure and steady supplies of refined products, which currently only state-majors can meet. However the clause will remain for crude oil.
Additionally, the proposal has also amended the tank capacity obligations from the 2006 policy.
Under the new draft, companies must have a minimum storage tank capacity of 200,000 m3 to distribute and store crude oil and at least 200,000 m3 for refined products. Experts and traders said those requirements were in line with industry averages.
Another change would require storage companies and wholesalers of crude oil or refined oil products to apply for a permit from the provincial government, subject to approval from Beijing.
This follows an announcement from the government earlier in the year saying it wold allow private companies to invest in storage.