Foreign oil dependency continues to rise

By He Shan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 27, 2012
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China's oil dependecy rate reaches 55.2 percent in 2011. [File photo] 

China imported 250 million tons of crude oil in 2011, moving its external oil dependency rate to 55.2 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from a year ago, according to a report released on March 26.

The report, issued together by China Petroleum Enterprises Association and Oil and Gas Industry Research Center of China University of Petroleum, showed that Saudi Arabia, Angola and Iran topped the list of 24 major oil exporters to China, respectively accounting for 19.6 percent, 12.1 percent and 10.9 percent.

"The increased energy dependency and mounting uncertainties in the external environment both force China to ensure its energy security,"said Peng Zhengyuan, a vice director and secretary of China Petroleum Enterprises Association.

China imported 28.18 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2011, according to the report.

The energy report highlights increasing uncertainties looming over the global oil industry, the worsening euro zone crisis and struggling U.S. economy, slowing growth of emerging economies and their rising inflation. All of these, the report says, are depicting a worrying prospect for the oil market, pressured further by turmoil in the Middle East and Japan's nuclear disaster.

The report concluded that China's oil industry will face a tougher year in 2012.

"In the face of a capricious economic situation and raised concerns over environmental issue which both pose daunting challenges, China's oil industry should restructure its strategy timely and cut energy vulnerability," Peng said. "China should expedite the exploitation of non-conventional oil resources, such as shale gas and deep-water oil resources."

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