Chinese oil refiner likely to help fill quota for altteul stations

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Chinese oil refiner likely to help fill quota for altteul stations

Korea is set to import 100,000 barrels of gasoline from a Chinese refiner after it performs a quality inspection.

Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) chose PetroChina as a foreign oil supplier on Thursday for altteul, or thrifty, gas stations in a bid to lower local gas prices.

Such stations are part of a broader government campaign launched last year to offer cheaper fuel.

As the state-run oil corporation required a quality inspection as a part of the bidding process, it will perform a check-up on PetroChina’s sample oil products as early as next Thursday.

If the quality of the foreign gasoline meets the nation’s standard, foreign oil shipments will be provided at altteul gas stations by the end of this month.

Bahk Jae-wan, the minister of strategy and finance, said last month that the government will import 200,000 barrels of gasoline this year and provide them to the thrifty gas stations.

As such, the KNOC is still seeking a supplier to provide the other 100,000 barrels.

“We only bid for 100,000 barrels this time around to see if the supply contributes to lowering the gas prices,” said Choi Hong-seok, who works on the KNOC’s communications team.

The government decided to import refined oil products after its previous attempt to expand the number of altteul gas stations and online oil trade market hardly affected prices.

By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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