China drafts new rules for oil storage industry

BEIJING, July 19 (Reuters) - Beijing on Wednesday issued draft regulations for China's growing oil and fuel storage industry, as the nation pushes on with plans to reform its vast energy sector.

Storage companies and wholesalers of crude oil or refined oil products must apply for a permit from the provincial government, which will be subject to approval from the commerce ministry, according to the draft proposals issued by the Commerce Ministry.

Companies must have a minimum storage tank capacity of 200,000 cubic metres to distribute and store crude oil and a minimum of 20,000 cubic metres for refined products, it said.

Chinese companies must hold the majority stake in any firm with more than 30 retail outlets that has a foreign investor. Such firms should sell different brands of products and use various suppliers, the draft rules showed.

The document comes after the government said in May it would allow private companies to invest in its oil and gas storage.

Aug. 19 is the deadline for public feedback on the draft rules.

(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Joseph Radford)