China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) plans to invest 53 billion yuan ($8.41 billion) by 2015 to boost refinery capacity and build up oil and gas production in northwestern Xinjiang region, company officials said. The top Asian refiner planned to double the capacity of its Tahe refinery in Kuqa county to 10 million tons per year, or 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), by 2015, a company official said. Tahe, Sinopec’s sole refinery in Xinjiang, last year processed 4.25 million tons of crude oil and other feedstocks and sold a total 4.1 million tons of oil products, the official said. He said all of the crude oil processed by Tahe was from Xinjiang. To match the expansion at the refinery, the company would increase crude oil production in Xinjiang to between 9 million and 11 million tons and raise natural gas output to 1.8-3.0 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2015, another official said. That compared with 7.25 million tons of crude oil and 1.59 bcm of natural gas output in 2011. All of its Xinjiang oil and gas fields were in the Tarim Basin, the official added. He said Sinopec aimed to build 8.0 bcm per year gas production capacity from coal-to-gas projects in Xinjiang and to eventually expand capacity to 30 bcm. To transfer the gas to booming coastal areas, it would build pipelines to the eastern Zhejiang and southern Guangdong province. He said Sinopec would add seven oil storage and 500 service stations in Xinjiang by 2015. Rival PetroChina dominates oil and gas production, with the 200,000-bpd Dushanzi, 100,000-bpd Urumqi and 120,000 bpd Karamay refineries in Xinjiang. Sinopec started tapping vast reserves in the region over the past decade and bought Tahe refinery from state parent China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) at the end of 2003.