People’s Daily recently reported on the First China International Petroleum Trade Conference. According to experts attending the conference, China’s oil consumption is expected to increase to half a billion tons in 2013. Meanwhile, China’s dependence on foreign oil will reach 60 percent next year. China is currently the primary source of demand for global oil market growth. In the year 2002, China became the second largest oil consuming country in the world (after the United States). According to experts, in the next five years, China’s oil imports will maintain a growth rate of eight percent annually, while the average annual growth rate for global oil consumption will remain at 1.2 percent. The decline of oil imports in North America and the geopolitical situation in the Middle East will be the two main factors that will impact the international oil market the most. However, more than half of China’s foreign oil supply comes from the Middle East. This adds a lot of uncertainty to China’s energy safety.
Source: People’s Daily, November 15, 2012