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China flexes SPR in oil market show of force

China’s upcoming release of crude from its strategic petroleum reserve may signal more measured buying ahead for the world’s top importer

China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration (NFSRA)—which manages the country’s strategic material reserves—announced last week that it will release 7.38mn bl from its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). The barrels will be auctioned off to a select few state-owned oil companies and integrated independent refineries in phases, with the first taking place on 24 September. The barrels for auction include Qatar Marine, Forties, Oman, Murban and Upper Zakum in five lots, and were put into storage at Dalian in northeastern China last year. The barrels are required to be used as feedstock for petrochemical production and can be consumed only by the buyer. 7.38mn bl – SPR

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