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China increasingly reliant on oil imports - IEA
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China's oil imports will account for almost 75 percent of its total oil consumption by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Paris-based adviser to 28 oil-consuming nations also predicted that primary world energy demand would grow by 1.6 percent annually between 2006 and 2030 with a total increase of 45 percent. China and India are expected to account for over half of incremental energy demand by 2030.

According to China Customs, the nation imported 159 million tons of crude oil in 2007 and produced 187 million tons, with its oil-import dependence reaching 50 percent for the first time.

China imported 135 million tons of crude oil from January to October, and it is expected to import a total of 200 million tons this year. However, its annual production would be less than 190 million tons.

Tong Xiaoguang, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, warned that China may soon become highly dependent on oil imports.

Any supply disruption drives up prices in all consuming countries, regardless of where they obtain their oil, according to the World Energy Outlook 2008, the latest edition of the IEA's annual flagship publication.

With the substantial increase in imports and somewhat limited regional supply, supply security risks in Asian countries may increase toward 2030, said Nobuo Tanaka, IEA executive director, adding that this heightens the need for oil emergency preparations.

Wang Jian, general secretary of China Society of Macroeconomics under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said as a developing country, China's economy is mostly driven by some energy-intensive industries owing to its ageing energy-inefficient industrial structure.

Tanaka said that as China's economy grows, oil imports would not decline in the long term.

Analysts said China should intensify its presence in the Asian oil market to reduce risks and ensure energy safety.

(China Daily November 19, 2008)

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