PetroChina’s oil and gas trading unit, Chinaoil, is planning a major global expansion by buying existing service stations and fuel storage facilities in West Africa, Brazil and Pakistan, according to Reuters. Chinaoil markets PetroChina’s global production.
The new investments are to start as early as next year, Reuters said, and would follow global oil trader Vitol and Trafigura’s footsteps.
The aim is to gain a foothold in emerging markets and grow market share locally, with petroleum products to be supplied by the Chinese state-owned company’s oil refineries, said Reuters, citing unnamed sources within PetroChina.
The expansion also aims at tapping the transportation fuel market in regions where demand is growing the fastest.
The plan is part of Chinaoil’s new leader, Tian Jinghui, who took over the reins of the unit eight months earlier. Tian, a vice president at PetroChina, is a veteran of fuel marketing at PetroChina, a listed unit of state giant CNPC and Asia’s largest oil and gas producer.
“The pace of execution is accelerating after Tian took over and the strategy fits his expertise,” Reuters said, quoting a company executive.
Chinaoil currently procures and trades nearly 7 million barrels of oil a day (bpd), including 4.8 million bpd of crude oil and 2.2 million bpd of oil products, exceeding Vitol’s 6 million bpd.
“Tian wants to apply his domestic marketing expertise globally…to upgrade PetroChina’s global fuel marketing from being just a wholesaler sitting at trading hubs to a retailer in consuming regions,” Reuters said, quoting a senior executive.