Energy efficiency and conservation have never been more important than now for China, which has a growing need for energy and faces rising oil prices on the international market, said BP Group Vice-President Gary Dirks yesterday.
"Rising international energy prices make the issue of sustainable energy consumption and sustainable growth all the more important this year Sustainable energy consumption and economic growth are global issues that need global solutions," Dirks said at the launch of BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2008 in Beijing.
"At company level, I see the need for new forms of partnership and collaboration, including in commercializing and developing new technologies for clean energy," he said.
China has already made progress in its efforts to enhance energy efficiency, he said. In 2007, China liberalized coal prices and raised caps on natural gas and oil prices. Last month, the government increased oil and electricity prices. These are significant developments in the right direction, Dirks said, adding that economical consumption and energy conservation are better achieved when end consumers are faced with rising energy prices.
Oil prices have been rising for more than six years, the longest period of rising prices, according to BP data.
The Review says world economic growth was strong last year despite the financial market turmoil that began in August, and this continued to support global energy consumption. And although growth in primary energy consumption slowed in 2007 compared with 2006, at 2.4 percent it was still above the 10-year average for the fifth consecutive year.
In 2007, global oil consumption grew by 1.1 percent, or 1 million barrels per day (bpd), slightly below the 10-year average. Consumption in the oil exporting regions of the Middle East, South and Central America and Africa accounted for two-thirds of the world's growth.
The Asia-Pacific region grew by 2.3 percent, even though growth in China and Japan was below average, with strong growth in a number of emerging economies. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) consumption fell by 0.9 percent, or nearly 400,000 bpd.
Global oil production fell by 0.2 percent, or 130,000 bpd, the first decline since 2002. OPEC production dropped by 350,000 bpd due to the cumulative impact of production cuts implemented in November 2006 and February 2007. Increased output in Angola and Iraq, and growing supply of condensates/NGLs (natural gas liquids), partially offset larger cuts in other OPEC countries.
Proven oil reserves were essentially flat in 2007 - at 1.24 trillion barrels - and are sufficient to meet current production for more than 41 years.