China's foreign oil dependence ratio exceeds 50% for 1st time

16:56, January 22, 2010      

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Directors of China's 4 major energy research centers all agreed January 19 that the ratio of China's dependence on foreign oil has exceeded the warning line of 50 percent in 2009, marking that oil imports has replaced domestic oil output to meet the majority of China's oil consumption.

China's 4 major energy research centers are the Research Center for International Energy and Security under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Energy Research Center under China University of Petroleum, the Research Center for Energy and Economy under the University of International Business, and the Economics and the China Center for Energy Economics Research under Xiamen University.

The so-called foreign oil dependence ratio commonly refers to the degree of China's dependence on foreign oil or the proportion of oil imports to China's oil consumption. Crude oil consumption generally is the sum of domestic crude oil output plus net oil imports.

China imported 203.79 million tons of crude oil in 2009, an increase of about 25 million tons or over 10 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, China's cumulative crude oil output for the first 11 months of 2009 stood at only 174 million tons including 15.67 million tons in November that was down 1.1 percent year-on-year. In fact, crude oil output in most of months last year had a year-on-year decrease.

To reduce the impact of the fall in international oil prices, PetroChina, China's largest oil producer contributing over 60 percent of the country's total oil output, estimated in early 2009 that its crude oil output in 2009 would be down 4 percent year-on-year. Its oil output did in fact drop by 4 percent year-on-year in the first 3 quarters.

To date, the government has yet to disclose China's domestic crude oil output data, but domestic experts who have secured the data through various channels told reporters that domestic oil output was less than oil imports.

By People's Daily Online
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