China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), said it has diverted gasoline and diesel supplies from China’s southern and coastal regions to Sichuan province following last Monday’s earthquake, Bloomberg reported. Moving fuel away from Guangdong province, China’s largest energy consuming market, may worsen fuel shortages in the manufacturing hub. Fuel will also be moved from Hunan and Hebei provinces. Sinopec, China’s biggest oil refiner, has also lifted rationing on fuel sales, as the earthquake recovery effort has boosted demand. Energy experts say that the moves will increase China’s short-term demand for oil imports causing higher prices. Benchmark oil prices in New York closed at a record US$127.05 a barrel yesterday.