Beijing - China National Petroleum Corporation and China Petrochemical Corporation, the nation’s two biggest oil and gas producers, had their new refining and chemical projects suspended after failing to meet the government’s 2012 pollutant reduction targets.
They can’t seek environmental reviews of new or expansion projects, except for ones that aim to upgrade oil quality or reduce emissions, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement posted to its website on Thursday, without providing a list of projects. The ministry will assess the companies’ measures to improve emissions in the first half before the suspensions can be lifted, it said.
China Petrochemical, known as Sinopec Group, failed to meet the target on chemical oxygen demand, and CNPC failed in nitrogen oxides emissions, according to the statement. Those measures are used to test pollutant levels in air or water.
Six other state-owned companies chosen for the tests, including Shenhua Group Corporation and China Huaneng Group Corporation, met all emission targets, the ministry said.
Two calls to the press office of the ministry in Beijing went unanswered on Thursday. Sinopec Group’s Beijing-based spokesman Lv Dapeng and CNPC’s Beijing-based spokesman Li Runsheng didn’t answer two calls each to their office lines seeking comment.
CNPC is the parent of Hong Kong-traded PetroChina Company, which dropped most in two years in Hong Kong on Wednesday after three top executives resigned because of government investigations. Sinopec Group is the parent of Hong Kong-traded China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec.
PetroChina gained 1.8 percent to HK$8.42 at 10:47 a.m. local time, while Sinopec dropped 0.7 percent to HK$5.69. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 percent. - Bloomberg