China's crude oil imports rose 10.8 percent in February from a year earlier to 25.55 million tons, or 6.69 million barrels a day (bpd), government data showed. Imports also grew 1.1 percent on daily basis from January's 6.62 million bpd, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.
Crude oil imports in the first two months of this year expanded 4.6 percent from the same period of 2014 to 6.65 million bpd.
Last month, the National Reform and Development Commission announced that China will allow local resource-starved refineries to import crude oil, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Qualified local refineries will only be allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities.
Previously, China only allowed government-approved refineries to use imported crude oil in the past. However, the emergence of unregistered refineries has led to upgrades in the refinery sector.
The announcement by the country's top economic planner also said that no new refineries or capacity expansion was allowed without government permission and called for equal treatment of state-owned and private refineries.