Li Lifan, Deputy Director of the Center for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (Shanghai, China)

Over the last decade, the oil demand on the Chinese market has been growing at a vigorous rate, and oil imports have continued to rise on an annual basis. In 2003, with its oil imports exceeding those of Japan, China emerged as the worlds second largest oil-importing country behind the United States. Today, imports make up 35% of the total amount of oil consumed in China. In the current composition of Chinas oil imports, the Middle East accounts for about 50%, Africa for 25%, the Asia-Pacific Region for 15%, and Central Asia and Russia together for about 10%, thus constituting more than 90% of the countrys crude oil imports delivered via sea transport corridors. During the first half of 2006, Chinas crude oil output reached 91.66 million tonnes, an increase of 2.1% over the previous period. And oil imports reached 82.36 million tonnes, an increase of 21.3% over the previous period. It should be added that 70.33 million tonnes of these imports were crude oil, constituting an increase of 17.6%, while the import of petroleum products reached 12.03 million tonnes, i.e. an increase of 48.3%. Thus, Chinas oil dependence increased to reach 47.3% in the first half year. It is estimated that by 2020, the oil shortage in China will amount to 50-60%, and..

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