Mainland refiners, like many before them, now realise that parties don't last forever and eventually everyone has to sober up. The decision by state-controlled giant PetroChina to put off two new refineries and delay expansion of another is the latest, most dramatic signal that the mainland's refined fuels capacity has expanded too fast.

A senior executive of a major supplier to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has died, with one mainland media report saying she fell from a building in Chengdu.

The assets in Colombia and Peru could be worth about US$2 billion and CNPC may face competition from other South American producers, two of the sources said.

Jiang Jiemin, the head of the country's biggest oil and gas producer, has been picked to lead a ministry-level agency that oversees about 70 trillion yuan (HK$87 trillion) of non-financial state assets.

Italy's largest oil firm might sell a 20 per cent stake in a gas block to CNPC to share the cost of developing the project, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) would spend 15 billion yuan (HK$18.49 billion) to upgrade the quality of fuel it refines, general manager Zhou Jiping said.

Gas imports by sea and pipeline will rise 24 per cent in 2013, according to China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the nation's biggest energy explorer. Crude purchases will climb 7.3 per cent and account for 58 per cent of total consumption, CNPC estimated in its annual research report released on January 30.

Bureaucratic fighting between the environment ministry on the one hand and China National Petroleum Corp and Sinopec on the other has thwarted stricter emission standards for diesel trucks and buses – a main cause of air pollution blanketing dozens of China’s cities.