BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- China's crude oil output fell 6.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2017 as refineries slashed production and imported more due to high exploitation costs, according to National Bureau of Statistics data Monday.
Crude oil output came in at 48.02 million tonnes during the period. In March alone, crude oil output went down 4.6 percent to 16.58 million tonnes.
During the January-March period, China refined 138.22 million tonnes of crude, up 4.5 percent year on year.
In the first three months, natural gas output totaled 38.74 billion cubic meters, up 3.4 percent year on year.
China aims to increase domestic crude oil output to 200 million tonnes by 2020, while supply capacity for natural gas should exceed 360 billion cubic meters.
Major tasks for the oil industry include accelerating exploration to ensure domestic oil supply, speeding up construction of pipeline networks and developing clean alternatives.