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UPDATE 2-China Nov crude throughput hits daily record as private refiner starts new unit

(Adds oil, gas output)

BEIJING, Dec 15 (Reuters) - China’s crude oil throughput in November rose 3.2% on year,setting a record high on a daily basis, as a huge private refiner started trials of a new refining unit and state-owned refineries raised processing rates to meet annual targets.

The country processed 58.35 million tonnes of crude oil last month, equivalent to 14.2 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday.

That exceeded the October record of 14.09 million bpd.

January-November throughput was 614.41 million tonnes, or 13.39 million bpd, up 3.1% from the same period in 2019.

Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp in early November started a 200,000 bpd crude unit, in addition to its existing 400,000 bpd refining capacity in eastern China.

State-backed oil refineries also stepped up operation rates to meet solid demand for diesel and low-sulphur marine fuel.

According to data compiled by S&P Platts, the average crude throughput rate at Chinese state-controlled firms rose by 1 percentage point from October to 79.8% in November.

Meanwhile, PetroChina Co’s Yunnan refinery shut a 260,000 bpd crude processing facility on Dec. 5 for a 50-day overhaul. Sinopec’s Qingdao and Qilu facilities are scheduled to resume operations later this month after maintenance.

The NBS data also showed China’s crude oil output in November at 15.96 million tonnes, or 3.88 million bpd, up 1.2% from a year earlier.

Output for the first 11 months rose 1.6% to 180 million tonnes.

Natural gas output last month increased 11.8% from a year earlier to 16.9 billion cubic metres (bcm), the data showed, with January-to-November production jumping 9.3% on year to 170.2 bcm. (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Richard Pullin)

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