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China to overtake US as main oil importer by 2014 says OPEC

Thursday, April 25th 2013 - 05:46 UTC
Full article 8 comments
US has boosted domestic supply and imports declined 21% last year US has boosted domestic supply and imports declined 21% last year

China is on course to overtake the US as the world’s top crude importer by 2014, as the Asian country’s growing refining capacity boosts demand and America’s fracking boom cuts the need for foreign oil, OPEC said in its monthly report.

Imports to China may surpass 6 million barrels a day by the end of this year, according to an e-mailed report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. US oil imports declined 21% last year, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Shipments may drop below 6 million a day in 2014, according to OPEC.

“People have been anticipating this for the better part of a decade,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.

“The Chinese top leadership, and especially the military, worries a lot about their energy import dependence. It’s not clear how high it will go but it will certainly keep rising for the foreseeable future.”

China’s imports rose 1.3% in December to 5.57 million barrels a day, OPEC said. The country may meet 60% of its oil needs with foreign crude this year, according to the report.

The US produced 84% of its own energy last year as advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, unlocked oil and gas trapped in deep underground rock formations, EIA data show.

The US domestic crude output reached 7.159 million barrels a day last month, the most since July 1992.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Anglotino

    Dear People's Republic of China

    Please accept our sincere felicitations in almost reaching this milestone on your path to further integrating into the world economic system.

    As a token of our gratitude and congratulations, we hereby bequeath to you the Middle East. May you find as many fascinating conundrums as we have over the past several decades in our quest to ensure the continuing supply of oil.

    The United States of America.

    Apr 25th, 2013 - 10:27 am 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Oil is like heroin

    Apr 25th, 2013 - 11:19 am 0
  • Brazilian

    China might also become the world's largest economy as early as 2016!

    Apr 25th, 2013 - 04:33 pm 0
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