China's crude oil processing volume saw a rapid growth in 2018, hitting 603.57 million tonnes, an increase of 6.8 percent year-on-year, according to official figures released on Monday.
The growth rate was 1.8 percentage points higher than 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
This corresponds to about 12.07 million barrels per day, demonstrating a strong demand for refined oil products.
Crude oil imports also hit a new high, the NBS said, adding 460 million tonnes of crude oil were imported last year, marking a 10.1 percent increase on an annual basis.
The data on crude oil refinery output had a positive effect on oil prices with international benchmark Brent crude trading at $62.77 per barrel at 0654GMT on Monday. Brent floated between $59 and $61 per barrel last week.
- Increase in natural gas imports
Natural gas production also grew at a high speed, and imports increased substantially, the data revealed.
"In 2018, the exploration and utilization of natural gas continued to increase, and natural gas production increased significantly. The annual production of natural gas was 161 billion cubic meters, a year-on-year increase of 7.5 percent," the bureau said.
The annual import of natural gas, on the other hand, hit 90.39 million tons, an increase of 31.9 percent compared to 2017.
By Hale Turkes