En­ergy guz­zler

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - AGEN­CIES

China is set to over­take the United States as the world’s largest net oil im­porter in Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to US fig­ures.

China is set to over­take the United States as the world’s largest net oil im­porter from Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to US fig­ures, spurred by ris­ing Chi­nese de­mand and in­creas­ing US pro­duc­tion.

Next year, China’s net oil im­ports will ex­ceed those of the US, and the gap will con­tinue to widen, the US En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion said in a re­port.

China is al­ready the world’s big­gest en­ergy user and the sec­ond­largest oil con­sumer af­ter the US.

The shift has been driven by steady growth in Chi­nese de­mand, in­creased US oil pro­duc­tion and stag­nant or weak­en­ing de­mand in the US, the EIA said.

A graph on the EIA’s web­site shows China’s net im­ports steadily ris­ing, with those of the US fall­ing at a faster rate. The cross­over point comes in two months.

US an­nual oil out­put is ex­pected to rise 28 per­cent be­tween 2011 and 2014 to nearly 13 mil­lion bpd, while Chi­nese pro­duc­tion is fore­cast to grow 6 per­cent. China’s out­put will stand at just one-third of the US level in 2014, the EIA said.

China’s liq­uid fuel use will in­crease 13 per­cent over the pe­riod to more than 11 mil­lion bpd while US de­mand hov­ers near 18.7 mil­lion bpd.

China im­ported 26.11 mil­lion met­ric tons (186.5 mil­lion bar­rels) of crude oil last month. Its ex­ports were a mere 170,000 tons, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial Bei­jing fig­ures.

China’s rise as an oil im­porter will have a pro­found im­pact, the China Busi­ness News said on Mon­day.

“China and the US will no longer be pure com­peti­tors in the en­ergy sec­tor — China is likely to im­port en­ergy in bulk from the US,” wrote com­men­ta­tor Li Dongchao.

“The (ris­ing) in­de­pen­dence of US en­ergy will sup­port the re­ju­ve­na­tion of US man­u­fac­tur­ing, which will re­new com­pe­ti­tion with Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing,” Li said.

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